An old video showing an aged woman being assaulted by a local political leader during a charity event in Bangladesh is being circulated with a false claim that she was assaulted by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member in Karnataka ahead of the polls.
BOOM found that the video shows an incident from Satkhira, Bangladesh where a local leader Habibur Rahman Bitu assaulted the woman at a clothes distribution event held during Ramzan in 2022.
The video is viral in the backdrop of the Karnataka polls which will be held on May 10.
The video has been shared on Twitter with a caption in Hindi , “Condition ahead of elections in Karnataka. Real face of BJP while the party functionary distributing clothes to the poor. You can understand after winning the election this kind of behaviour with poor is deplorable."
(Original caption in Hindi: #कर्नाटक चुनाव से पहले ये हाल है भाजपाइयों का असली रूम बीजेपी परवख्ता गरीबों को कपड़ा वितरण करते हुए। चुनाव जीतने के बाद आप समझ सकते हैं गरीबो के साथ इस तरह का व्यवहार दुःखद है)
BOOM noticed that the video shows a ticker below in Bangla which translates to English as, “Habibur Rahman (Bitu), Member & Secretary, No 2 ward, Awami League”.
A logo and text ‘SB Satkhira Bulletin’ can be seen on the top left corner.
Further, we ran a keywords search on Facebook and found that the video was originally posted on Facebook by a hyper local news outlet ‘Satkhira Bulletin’ of Bangladesh on March 20, 2023. View the archived link here.
According to the caption, “Supporters of the Awami League are disappointed after a person like Habibur Rahman (Bitu) is being selected as member and secretary for Number 2 Ward under Satkhira Municipality ahead of National Parliamentary Elections. If a person like him holds crucial post in grassroot level the party will lose its credibility and become memberless, said several leaders of Awami League”.
Bangladesh’s daily Jugantor on April 2, 2023 reported the same incident citing Nazrul Islam, current district president of Awami League and chairman of Zila Parisad for Satkhira. Islam said that he is aware of the video viral on social media and claimed that the video is quite old.
As per reports the woman has been identified as Margina Begam, wife of Babul, residents of Majitpur area in the town of Satkhira. She was allegedly hit by Habibur Rahman (Bitu) on her head thrice and later given the saree, during the drive.
However, Rahman was not available when he had been contacted regarding the video.
The same viral video was also reported by Dhaka Times in March 31, 2023.
BOOM also found a reaction by Margina Begam given to local outlet, Satkhira Tribune on March 31. According to her, the incident is old. She said, "He (Habibur Rahman) is very rude to people. When they were distributing clothes, I stretched my hand, and he hit me thrice. I went and sat as I was feeling uneasy. Then he later handed me over the sari. I could not say anything later."
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