A video showing some students raising slogans of 'Nara-e-Takbeer' and 'Allah-hu-Akbar' is viral online with the false claim that Kashmiri students in Mewar University, Rajasthan, beat up an engineering student for celebrating the success of Chandrayaan-3.
BOOM found that the claim is false and the brawl took place due to an issue in the university's canteen. The incident had nothing to do with Chandrayaan-3.
ISRO created history on August 23 after its ambitious goal of landing the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon's south pole was realised. Social media has flooded with posts of appreciation for the space agency and India has received global acclaim for achieving this feat.
In the viral video, a person can be heard describing the incident and talking about how it took place at Mewar University in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. They go on to detail the slogans that were being raised and how the students creating this ruckus were Kashmiris.
Right-wing X account Megh Updates shared the video with the caption, "Rajasthan- A student studying engineering at Mewar University of Gangrar in Chittorgarh district was attacked by Kashmiri students for celebrating the successful landing of #Chandrayaan3 . Condition of a student named Ayush is said to be serious after being attacked by a sharp weapon, he has been referred to Udaipur for better treatment. Religious slogans can be heard at the University. Locals reached on info and clash ensued. 36 detained. Heavy Police presence. Situation now under control."
BOOM has previously debunked several false claims shared by Megh Updates. Read here.
BOOM found that the viral claim is false. The Chittorgarh Police and both the students involved told us that the clash began over skipping the queue in the mess and had nothing to do with the landing of Chandrayaan-3.
A reverse image search of some key frames from the video led us to news reports published by Aaj Tak and Navbharat Times.
According to Aaj Tak's report published on August 26, an argument broke out involving some Kashmiri students in Mewar University, Gangrar, located in the Chittorgarh district. The incident took place in the university's mess and escalated when the Kashmiri students attacked some of the other students. Two students were injured as a result, and one of them whose condition became serious was referred to Udaipur.
The report states that some members of a local Hindu organisation also arrived at the university. However, the situation was pacified after the police reached there. The report also carries a quote from the university's Director, Harish Gurnani, who explained that the quarrel began while the students were waiting in the queue of the mess to get their food. During this, the Kashmiri students raised slogans, following which the police even detained a few students.
This Navbharat Times report published on August 26 provides similar details, including the serious injury caused to two students.
None of the reports mentioned anything about Chandrayaan-3. We then reached out to Gangrar Police's sub-inspector Shyam Lal who said, "On August 25, 2023, during dinner, a Rajasthani youth, Rahul Poonia got into an argument with a Kashmiri student in the mess. Rahul had gone to the mess to eat but there were many students waiting at the first rice counter. Since he did not want to eat rice, he moved to the other counters. After this, Qutubuddin, a Kashmiri youth waiting in the queue objected over this. This was followed by an argument between the two."
Shyam Lal added, "Later, this argument turned into a violent clash. During this, the injured students were sent to the hospital for better treatment. Other students who were involved in the violence were detained for causing unrest. But later, they were all released. FIRs have been lodged in this matter from both the sides."
BOOM then reached out to the students Rahul Poonia and Qutubuddin, both of whom denied that the incident had anything to do with Chandrayaan-3.
Rahul Poonia explained the situation and said, "On the night of August 25, I went to the mess to have dinner. During that time, many students were waiting in the queue at the first rice counter. Since I don't like rice, I went straight to the roti and other counters. Seeing this, a student named Qutubuddin spoke rudely to me and stopped me. After this, him and his peers started beating me. The officials from the college administration present there tried to save me. After this, the Kashmiri students clashed with some other students and outsiders as well. The outsiders included people from a local Hindu group. Later, the police arrived and pacified the matter."
Qutubuddin said in a statement to BOOM, "On the night of August 25, when there was a fight between me and Rahul while having dinner in the mess, someone present at the scene informed the local Hindu organisations. They came to the college gate and started chanting Jai Shri Ram and other slogans. During this, they also threw stones at the mess. In response to this, slogans of Allah Hu Akbar and Nara-e-Takbeer were raised from the side of the Kashmiri students. However, the matter was pacified when the police arrived."
He also added that this incident took place on August 25 and when Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon on August 23, the students of the college celebrated together.