An old video showing a group of people rescue a minor from drowning in a river in Bangladesh's Chandpur has been shared on social media with a false claim that the incident happened in Chambal river.
The same video has been picked up by several Indian news outlets and was misreported as an incident that happened in the Chambal river and how the minor was rescued from a crocodile. Chambal is a tributary of the Yamuna River and it flows through the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The video shows disturbing visuals of a minor gasping for breath and trying to stay afloat as boats rush to rescue him.
The video has been captioned as, "Between life and death, life often wins. Something similar was seen in Chambal river, when a child got stuck in Chambal River due to flood. Crocodiles were around him during this time, but the child finally won the battle of life between life and death, with struggle and courage. Rescue team safely evacuated the boy."
(Original texts in Hindi: जिंदगी और मौत के बीच, अक्सर जीत जिंदगी को होती है। कुछ ऐसा ही चंबल नदी में देखने को मिला, जब एक बच्चा बाढ़ की वजह से चंबल नदी में फंस गया। इस दौरान उसके चारों ओर मगरमच्छ थे, लेकिन बच्चे ने संघर्ष और साहस का परिचय देते हुए जिंदगी और मौत के बीच आखिरकार जिंदगी की जंग जीत ली। रेस्क्यू टीम ने बच्चे को सकुशल बाहर निकाल लिया।)
Watch the video here.
BOOM ran reverse image searches with keyframes from the video which led us to a Facebook post from June 19, 2022. The post is captioned in Bangla as, "PrayForSylhet #prayforsunamgang only screaming in the land of Sylhet although this visual is from Chandpur estuary last year."
Districts of Sylhet and Sunamgaunj in Bangladesh have experienced havoc floods this year.
With relevant keywords search in Bangla text, BOOM found an extended video of 1 minute 29 seconds which was uploaded by "BD Travellers21" on August 27, 2021. The video shows the same visuals of a minor being rescued by boatmen. The video has a headline in Bangla, "The boy was rescued from drowning from the estuary of the terrible three rivers of Chandpur. Dangerous Place." The video has a location tag of Chandpur on YouTube.
Taking this as cue, we reached out to Abdur Rashid, OC, Chandpur, who confirmed that the incident is from the area. Rashid told BOOM that the person who rescued the minor is Jakir. "A case was registered under the Bangladesh River Police," Rashid told BOOM.
We then reached out to Jakir, a boatman of Chandpur, who corroborated the event. Though Jakir was unable to confirm the date and time of the incident, he stated that the incident is from the Chandpur estuary.
Additionally we also reached out to YouTuber Rajon Hossen, the admin of BD Travellers21 who told BOOM that the incident was shot by him. "The incident had happened on Friday, August 27, 2021. The boy had gone into the river to bathe. His knee was injured by a blade of an engine boat and he was unable to swim further. This is when the people in a boat spotted him and saved him."
BOOM also reached out to a local reporter Talha Jubayer, who works for Ekhon Television from with Chandpur. Jubayer confirmed, "This footage is an incident of Chandpur Boro Station Molehead on Meghna River."
Above is a comparison of the viral video andthe video uploaded on YouTube below.
- Towhidur Rahaman
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