A doctored video created by splicing together two separate clips showing an incident in Uttar Pradesh and a gruesome murder in Venezuela, is going viral on WhatsApp with a false claim that it shows a Muslim mob lynching a Hindu man in Delhi.
The viral video shows a group of men wearing skull caps thrashing a man before dragging him inside what looks like a garage. The video then jumps to an extremely disturbing visual which shows a young boy, whose mouth is gagged, hacked to death with a machete. It is important to note that the two clips do not show the same incident.
While the first few minutes of the video has the logo of Sudarshan News, the latter part showing the brutal murder has no logo.
The video is doing the rounds on WhatsApp with a Hindi message translating to 'If you are still in awe of secularism, kindly watch this video. The incident is from Delhi. Wherever the 'peacefulls' are a majority, Hindus are slaughtered like this'.
(Hindi: अगर अभी भी किसी को सेक्युलरिज्म का भूत चढ़ा है तो इसे ध्यान से देख लो।दिल्ली की घटना है । जहां शांतिदूतों की संख्या ज्यादा होती है। वहाँ हिन्दू ऐसे ही कटता है।)
BOOM has not included the video due to its graphic nature.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on screenshots from the video and found that the clip has been created by using visuals from two separate and unrelated incidents.
We found that the first video was shared widely during May this year. Several Facebook users had shared this video with a communal narrative using #Bengal in the captions. West Bengal elections were declared on May 2, 2021 with Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress emerging as the winner.
The video was shared with a caption that claims it shows a Hindu man being attacked in a Muslim dominated area in West Bengal. However, the video is not from West Bengal.
BOOM also found a tweet from the official handle of Muzzafarnagar police (Uttar Pradesh) on May 5 as a reply on a tweet sharing this video.
In its reply in Hindi, Muzzafarnagar police has said 'A case has been registered against 7 named and 10-12 unknown persons under relevant sections by the Bhopa police. The accused will be arrested soon and other legal action is being taken by local police'.
Taking cue from the tweet, BOOM contacted Sikri police station to get more information on the case. Police station in-charge Resham Pal Singh told BOOM that the incident was from earlier in May. "The incident is old. It was a minor scuffle and no one had died in the incident. This is being shared in a wrong context,
Singh told BOOM that there was a verbal spat between a lineman from the electricity department and the local residents which led to a scuffle.
We also found news reports published in Hindi dailies detailing the incident. According to an Amar Ujala report published on May 5, 2021 the incident took place in Sikri village of Muzaffarnagar on May 3.
The report further states that lineman Anuj was in Sikri village to repair a fault in the power line when Salman and Ayyaz, resident of the same village approached him to change a power cable in their home. When Anuj declined to change the cable without the junior engineer's order, Salman and Ayyaz allegedly attacked the lineman.
The Amar Ujala report further stated that the accused, along with others namely Rafi, Khalid, Aabid, Naaz and Aas Mohammed, pulled Anuj inside a house and held him hostage till a police team reached the spot and rescued him.
Read more about the incident here.
A reverse image search on this picture led us to a report published on the website Metro on February 7, 2018. The report uses multiple screenshot from the same brutal video that has been edited and stitched with the Muzzafarnagar video.
According to the Metro report, the incident is from Venezuela and the boy was murdered by the members of the 'megabandas gang'.
With the help of more keyword searches we found another report published on Guyanatimesgy which identified the boy as a Guyanese miner.
The report further states 'it was speculated that the killing occurred after the man demanded payment for his labour'.
Another report published in news.co.au has screenshots from the same video showing the brutal execution of the boy. The report calls the boy 'probably the victim of one of Venezuela's megabandas'.
BOOM was however unable to independently establish the identity of the boy being executed in the video.
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