A video showing people offering namaaz in knee-deep water in Bangladesh after the Amphan cyclone in 2020 has surfaced with a bizarre communal twist in India.
Netizens are posting the video with a false communal narrative that it is a ploy by the Muslims in India to capture the Ganges gradually, which is considered holy for the Hindus.
The viral clip which shows Muslims gathered for praying amidst windy weather and knee deep water, is doing the rounds with a Hindi caption. The caption, when translated to English, reads, "This is a plan to take over Ganga river after performing azan at a secluded spot. As per their plan they would make temporary houses along the banks of river Ganga and later these houses will be converted into permanent residence. Since the next war of the world will be for water, the experiment to convert mother Ganga into aab-e-jamjam has begun."
(Original caption in Hindi: 'यह एक योजना है कि एकान्त स्थान पर गंगा नदी में अज़ान लगा कर कब्जा किया जये। इनकी योजना के अनुसार गंगा नदी के किनारे किनारे पर अस्थाई निवास बनाये जाय बाद में यह स्थाई निवास में परिवर्तन कर दिया जायेगा। क्यों कि विश्व की अगली लड़ाई पानी के लिए होनी है। और यह मॉ गंगा को आबे जमजम बनाए जाने का ऐक्सपेरिमैंट शुरू हो गया है'.)
The video has been shared widely on Facebook with similar narrative.
The video has been shared with a similar caption on Twitter.
The tweet is archived here.
BOOM Hindi debunked this video on July 29, 2021.
BOOM was able to ascertain that the video is from Bangladesh. We ran a keyword search in Bangla with the text "হাঁটু পানিতে ঈদের নামাজ" (Eid Namaz in knee deep water) and found several news reports about the video.
Independent Television, a Bangladesh news channel, published a news bulletin on May 25, 2020 featuring similar visuals as seen in the viral video. The bulletin has been captioned as, "Koyra devastated by Amphan, people offered namaz in deep water during Eid." (আম্পান তাণ্ডবে ক্ষতিগ্রস্থ কয়রা, তাই পানিতেই ঈদ জামাত || Khulna || Koyra)
The Business Standard reported on May 25, 2020, "Around 5,000 Muslim devotees of Koyra in Khulna performed the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer standing in knee-deep water on an embankment. On May 20, the devastating cyclone Amphan broke 24 points of the Koyra embankment and submerged it in the saltwater."
Bangladeshi news outlet Dhaka Tribune published a report on May 25, 2020 on the incident with the caption, "Thousands offer Eid prayer in knee-deep water."
See the video report by Jamuna Television below.
Below is a comparison of visuals from the viral video and the image from the Business Standard report
Additional Reporting: BOOM Bangladesh