A compilation of four video clips is viral on social media with captions falsely claiming that Hindus have started retaliating over the post-poll violence that rocked West Bengal following the results of the assembly election.
BOOM found that three of the four videos are old and not related to West Bengal. The claims were unfounded.
Reports of post-poll violence started pouring in ever since Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won the election on May 2. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed for peace and announced a compensation package for the deceased and the Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a team to the state to look into the matter of post-violence violence.
Meanwhile social media has been abuzz with pictures and videos being shared with false captions linking them to violence in Bengal. The viral video is an addition to the flurry of fake news on social media.
The minute-long viral video shows different incidences of violence where people can be seen attacking each other. The video has been overlaid with a Hindi song. A caption with the clip translates to 'Hindus have started retaliating in Bengal'.
(Hindi: बंगाल के हिंदुओं ने पलटवार करना शुरू कर दिया है)
Watch the viral video below and check its archived version here.
The video is quite viral on several Facebook pages and Twitter handles.
BOOM broke the video into several frames and used reverse image search to trace the original clips in the viral compilation.
BOOM found a YouTube video from November 2018 from where a portion has been clipped and used in the viral compilation. The Hindi title of the video translates to 'The moment Hindus pulled out the swords, Jihadi Muslims ran away'.
(Hindi: हिंदुओं ने तलवार क्या निकाल ली जिहादी मुसलमान भाग निकले)
Watch the video below.
The video shows two groups - one raising saffron flags, swords and tridents and the other wearing skull caps and holding swords. A team of police officials can be seen trying to pacify both the groups. We can also see people walking around with camera - presumably photojournalists - clicking photos of the mob.
We watched the video closely and found several turbaned people in the crowd.
Taking cue, we did a keyword search on YouTube with the words 'hindu muslim clash in punjab' and a found the same video uploaded in 2017 with the headline 'Hindu Muslim Fight II Fagwara Punjab'.
BOOM also found news reports from 2016 reporting a clash between Shiv Sena workers and Muslims. One such report published in Indian Express on July 23, 2016 had screenshots showing people from the same viral compilation.
According to the Express report, the communal clash took place in connection with the disruption of Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir following which 'the Shiv Sena leaders had been targeting the local Muslims and raising anti-Pakistan slogans'.
The report further mentions that the Muslim community took out a march against the Shiv Sena. "The Shiv Sena leaders, too, carried out a protest march, led by their state vice-president Inderjit Karwal, while raising anti-Pakistan slogans. Both the groups came face to face at Naiyan Wala Chowk," the Express report states.
A reverse image search on the second clip led us to reports from 2019.
A video uploaded on the YouTube channel of India TV on March 23, 2019 shows a longer version of the same clip. The title with the video translates to 'Politics and fight over Hindu-Muslim doesn't stop even on Holi'.
According to the India TV report, the incident is from Gurugram, Haryana.
(Hindi: Holi के त्यौहार पर भी नहीं थमी Hindu-Muslim पर सियासत और झगड़ा !)
The video has violence hence users' discretion is advised.
A report published in The Quint on March 24, 2019 stated that the incident took place in Gurugram's Bhondsi district on Holi evening.
Another report published in The Indian Express stated that members of a Muslim family and guest who had come over for a visit were 'attacked with sticks and rods, allegedly by a group of 20-25 men who barged into their home' on Holi evening. According to the Express report, one person had been arrested for the crime.
While BOOM could not find any results upon searching the third clip with the help of reverse image search, a keyword search with Hindi words 'मस्जिद पर पत्थर फेके' took us to a longer version of the same video uploaded in 2018.
The video had been uploaded on Facebook with a Hindi caption translating to 'These dogs are throwing stones at the mosque. These are enemies of humanity'.
(Hindi: यह कुत्ते मस्जिद पर पत्थर फेंक रहे हैं यह हिंदुस्तान के दुश्मन हैं इंसानियत के दुश्मन है)
While the post doesn't mention where did the incident take place, we could hear Hindi being spoken in the background. Also, the names of shops seen in the video are in Hindi.
BOOM could independently not ascertain where or why did the attack take place. However, we were able to trace the video to as far as 2018.
We were unable to trace one of the clips used in the viral compilation.
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