Multiple violent videos of unrelated incidents are viral on WhatsApp and social media, with a false claim that they show attacks on migrant workers from Bihar in Tamil Nadu. BOOM found that the claim is false and that the videos show horrific crimes of unrelated incidents in Tamil Nadu and different parts of India.
At least five such videos are circulating online. We were able to establish clearly that four of these videos do not show attacks on Bihari migrant workers. We are still ascertaining details of the fifth video.
The videos started going viral after an incident in February some migrant workers travelling in a train were abused and assaulted by a man who blamed them for "taking away job opportunities". The video of the incident went viral following which the Railway police identified the accused as P Magimaidas and arrested him for promoting enmity.
However, now several unrelated videos are shared fueling dangerous rumours of attacks on migrant workers in the state.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu's Director General of Police Sylendra Babu recorded a video denying the viral claim of attacks on migrant workers in the state.
The videos are viral on WhatsApp and other social media with various captions alleging attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu. The same false claim has been amplified by obscure Hindi websites.
Video 1 - Murder In Jiyaguda, Hyderabad Peddled As Tamil Nadu
A disturbing video from Hyderabad's Jiyaguda area showing three men hack to death their friend in broad daylight in the middle of a busy road, is being peddled as an attack on Bihari migrant worker in Tamil Nadu.
We took a screenshot from the video and did a reverse image search, which led us to an article on the website Newstap that used a screen grab from the video. The article also included a video tweeted by journalist Naveena Ghanate.
Using details included in the article, we found a news report by Deccan Chronicle on the same incident that took place on January 22, 2023. The victim Jangam Sainath in his thirties, was hacked to death in full public view by three men identified only by the names - Akash, Tillu and Sonu, according to Kulsumpura police. Deccan Chronicle reported that the police said that they suspect the murder was over an illicit relationship that Sainath was in. BOOM could not independently verify the same. Read more about it here.
Video 2 - Murder of history-sheeter in Savanur, Karnataka viral as Tamil Nadu
Another graphic video showing four men brutally hack a man to death with an axe and machete in Karnataka's Savanur area in Haveri district in August 2021, is being peddled as a video from Tamil Nadu.The victim is seen holding a gun in the video.
Through a reverse image search, we found an article by Quint's fact-checking unit Webqoof which debunked another false claim around the same video in 2021.
The video shows the murder of Anwar Shaikhar alias Tiger Anwar, a notorious criminal from Margao, Goa by four brothers in August 2021.
Goan daily Heraldo citing a Savanur police official reported that the accused are brothers Imran Chowdhary (28), Tanveer Chowdhary (24), Abir Chowdhary (22) and Rehan Chowdhary (20), residents of Savanur town. A rivalry between the accused and victim, was suspected as the motive. Read more about it here and here.
Video 3 - Gruesome murder of a lawyer in Rajasthan falsely shared as Tamil Nadu
A separate video showing a man being repeatedly stabbed and then bludgeoned to death on the side of a busy street in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is also going viral with a false claim that it shows an attack on a Bihari migrant worker in Tamil Nadu.
BOOM Hindi had earlier debunked the same video when it was viral with another false claim that the clip shows Muslim assailants killing a Hindu temple priest. Read our Hindi fact-check here.
However, the video is actually from Jodhpur Rajasthan and shows the spine chilling murder of lawyer Jugraj Chauhan by his cousins Anil and Mukesh Chauhan, over a land dispute. The incident took place in February this year.
BOOM Hindi had also reached out to Mata Ka Than police station in Jodhpur and confirmed details of the crime.
Our fact-check clearly establishes the video is from Jodhpur, Rajasthan and has nothing to do with Tamil Nadu or migrant workers in the state.
Video 4 - Murder of a local gangster in Coimbatore viral as attack on migrant worker
A disturbing video of a 24-year-old man being hacked to death by a group of men is being shared with a false claim that it shows a worker from Bihar attacked by locals in Tamil Nadu.
Using a reverse image search on a keyframe from the video we found that the video is from Coimbatore where a gangster G Gokul (24) was attacked on February 13, 2023, allegedly by members of a rival gang outside the Combined Court Complex in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
The incident was reported by several outlets including Times Of India and The Hindu which said that the victim Gokul was having tea near the court complex where he was present for a murder hearing when he was attacked by five people who chased him and hacked him to death. The reports further said that the victim Gokul was involved in a murder of a member of another gang in December 2021, and the attack on him was a retaliation by rival gang members. The Tamil Nadu police arrested seven people for the same and said that all of them are members of a rival gang in the area.
Video 5 - Video of an injured man viral as attack on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu
A fifth video showing a large group of men take photos and videos of a body of a man who appears to be grievously injured is also being shared as an attack on North Indians in Tamil Nadu.
The video, which has been shot at night, shows two policemen standing near the body of the man who appears unconscious.
BOOM was unable to find news reports on video. The article will be updated as and when we get more details.
Video 6 - Old Video Of Bike Rally With Swords From Assam Revived As Tamil Nadu
An old video showing people doing a bike rally with swords in Assam has also been revived on social media falsely claiming it to be a recent visual from Tamil Nadu.
BOOM had debunked the same video in 2022, when it had been revived with the false claim that it showed a recent instance of how police officers took effective measures to prevent a riot from happening in Assam at that time.
We noticed that the video mentions the location as 'Tinsukia, Assam' and has the EM Logo on it. Taking a cue, we ran a keyword search for "Youth swords during bike rally Assam" on YouTube and found an extended version of the video was uploaded by news outlet East Mojo's official YouTube channel on October 27, 2020. The caption with the video report says, "Assam youths brandish swords during bike rally; one admits to be member of Bajrang Dal".
We also found several news reports from North East based outlets, including an India Today NE article, which in its report on October 26, 2020, states, "40-50 youths carried out a bike rally by carrying swords in hand to participate in "astra poojan" organised by the 'Bajrang Dal."
The rally soon grabbed the attention of the officials who prevented the youngsters and arrested four people. As per news articles, one of the members reportedly has links to the Bajrang Dal. An Assam Times report also published a screengrab from the viral video.
Video 7 - Old video falsely shared as attack on migrants in Tamil Nadu
An old video showing two groups fighting off each other with sticks is being shared with the false claim that it is a recent video from Tamil Nadu showing migrants being attacked.
On running a reverse image search using Yandex, we found search results that showed the video has been present online since 2017 at least and shared with different captions.
The same video was uploaded on Youtube with the sarcastic caption, "India Vs Pakistan serious fight" on October 27, 2017.
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