Road Safety Awareness Video Clipped And Shared With Communal Spin

BOOM spoke Raghavendra Kumar, the person who made the video, and confirmed that it was scripted.

A staged video created to raise awareness about wearing a helmet while riding, has been cropped and shared with a false claim that it shows Muslim youth getting aggressive when asked to wear a helmet.

BOOM spoke to the person - Raghavendra Kumar aka Helmet Man - who had conceptualised and shot the video and confirmed that the incident was scripted.

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The viral video shows a man stop two motorcycle-borne youths on their way to a mosque and ask them why aren't they wearing helmets. The man, speaking in Hindi, tell the youngsters to go back to their home and come back with helmets and only then would he allow them to go for their prayers. At this point the youngsters, wearing skull caps, call their friends over phone who rush to their 'rescue' with guns and swords.

There's a commotion and people can be seen waving their swords. At one point in the video the man can be heard referring himself as Helmet Man. Later in the video, the man and his team try to raise awareness on the importance of wearing helmet but the youngsters become more and more aggressive.

A Hindi caption with the viral video shared on Facebook translates to 'The result of Madarasa education. The other name of radicalisation is Islam. Muslims are being nurtured in the embrace of hatred. Mahasena is against such violence'.

(Hindi: मदरसे की शिक्षा का असर, कट्टरता का दूसरा नाम इश्लाम-नफरतों की आगोश में पलता मुसलमान। महासेना इस तरह की हिंसा का विरोध करती है। #संघियोंभारतछोड़ो #महासेना)

The video is viral on Twitter with similar captions.

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Fact Check

We watched the video closely and saw many of the bike-borne youngsters smiling even as the video was being recorded. This made the video look staged. Taking cue from the Today Darpan logo on the upper corner of the video, we did a keyword search on YouTube and found a channel by the same name.

BOOM found a longer version of the same video uploaded on March 23 this year with a Hindi title that translates to 'When namazis were stopped from going to the mosques, they became aggressive, helmet however won over swords and guns'.

(Hindi: नमाजियों को मस्जिद जाने से सड़क पर रोका तो आया गुस्सा,तलवार और बंदूकों पर भारी पड़ा हेलमेट |समझे बात)

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However, even this 13-minute-long video doesn't divulge whether it has been scripted or not.

We saw hashtags like HelmetMan and RaghvenderKumar used in the caption of the YouTube video. taking cue, we did a keyword search and found news reports on Raghvendra Kumar or Helmet Man. The 34-year-old man hail from Bihar and has earned the sobriquet of helmet Man for distributing helmets as part of road safety awareness.

We also found Kumar's YouTube channel where this and several other similar awareness videos have been uploaded.

BOOM then contacted Kumar to get more details about the video.

"The message is for road safety awareness. I have been distributing helmets for 7-8 years now after my friend's death in a road accident. It's not the first time I have shot a video near that mosque. The video is from Baraulli village of Kaimur district in Bihar. The video is scripted and everyone seen in the clip had agreed to be a part of the road safety awareness message," Kumar told BOOM.

"I have a simple message. Your religion is as long as you are alive. That's why I have been focusing on road safety for years. It's unfortunate that my awareness videos have not been viewed so many times but once this video was clipped and shared as fake news, it went viral," Kumar told BOOM.

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Raghavendra Kumar also told BOOM that he had no intention to show any religion in bad light.

Updated On: 2021-07-19T18:20:33+05:30
Claim :   Muslim youth get violent when asked to wear helmet
Claimed By :  Social media pages
Fact Check :  False
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