A doctored video of a procession where people can be seen carrying swords is circulating on social media with false claims that it shows Muslims calling for violence against Hindus in Bihar.
BOOM found that the video is being peddled with a false communal claim. It is available on the internet since 2017 and shows a Muharram procession in Bihar's Dehri-on-Sone area. We also found that the provoking audio clip in viral video has been separately added to it.
In the video, a large crowd can be seen moving forward on a road with swords. Some people, in the crowd, can also be spotted carrying green Islamic flags during the procession.
Right wing Twitter handle Megh Updates shared the video with the caption, "Viral video claimed to be from Bihar where Swords wielding muslims can be seen calling for violence against Hindus in India’s Bihar state".
Click here to view the tweet.
The same video has been tweeted by Sudarshan News' editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke with a caption, "Neither government nor court, Whoever decides, the Muslim will do...It is not #HateSpeech ! Peace is the message, Mr. Judge?" (Original caption in Hindi: न हुकूमत, न अदालत...जो फैसला करेगा, मुसलमान करेगा…यह #HateSpeech नहीं है! शांति संदेश हैं, जज साहब ?) Click here to view an archive of the tweet.
The video is being shared with a similar caption on Facebook as well.
BOOM closely watched the video and noticed a logo on the top right corner, with the name of "MAH Factory" YouTube channel. Taking a cue, we searched for it on YouTube and found the longer version of the video uploaded on the channel.
We noticed that the video was uploaded on March 14, 2020. As per the title of the video, it shows a scene of a Muharram procession at Dehri-on-Son in Bihar's Rohtas district. The same audio and visuals compared to the viral video can be seen from 30 seconds timestamp.
As there was not much information about the video, we again ran a related keyword search and found that the video was uploaded on another YouTube channel in 2017. The title with the 2017 video mentioned that the Muharram procession took place at Barah Patthar in Dehri-on-Son area.
We heard a different audio in the video when compared with the viral one. On a loudspeaker, a person can be heard asking the crowd to move forward towards Thana Chowk in the video uploaded in 2017.
From 53 seconds timestamp in the video, the name of Guddu Chowdhary, the chairman of the Central Muharram Committee, is being announced on a loudspeaker. The noise present in the audio are also matching with the visuals present in the video, which confirms its authenticity.
We also noticed signboards of some shops like Kamdhenu Sweets, Haji Cloth Store present on both sides of the road in the video. We traced these shops using Google Maps and located them at Dehri-on-Son area in Bihar's Rohtas district.
We also noticed a signboard mentioning 'Barah Patthar' in Hindi in the video. When we searched the same on Google Maps, we found that the area falls under Dehri-on-Son area. The comparison be seen below.
Furthermore, we reached out to Guddu Chowdhury whose name was being announced in the loudspeaker in the video. Chowdhury told BOOM that this video is of a Muharram procession that took place in Dehri-on-Son. However, he did not clarify when the viral Muharram procession video was shot.
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