No, Video Does Not Show Madrassa Students Being Trained To Kill
BOOM found that the video is old and from East Java province, Indonesia where a person was training a group to immunise them from sharp objects mystically.
An old video of a man in Indonesia demonstrating about sharp objects and training people to immunise them from weapons when attacked is circulating with a false claim that it shows an incident from an Indian madrassa where students are being trained to kill people.
BOOM found that the video is old and not from India. The video was shot in Mabes Al-hasby Pusat in Jember city of East Java province, Indonesia where a person used mysticism to train a group and immunise them from sharp objects.
The viral video shows a man walking in between rows of men seating on the floor and demonstrating ways of staying unharmed during an attack on the neck with a sharp weapon. The person in the video can be seen hitting people with a stick on their neck as part of the training.
The video is being shared with a Hindi caption that translates to, "*Here in madrasas training is being given to "slit the throat". And we are still engaged in non-violence is the greatest religion."
(Original Text in Hindi: *यहां मदरसों में "गला रेतने" की ट्रेनिंग दी जा रही है, और हम अभी भी अहिंसा परमो धर्मा: में लगे हैं।)
Click here to view the post.
BOOM also received the same video on its WhatsApp tipline number (7700906588) with a verification request.
BOOM first broke the video into keyframes and performed a reverse image search on Russian search engine Yandex. The search led us to a clearer and longer version of the same video uploaded by some Indonesian users in 2019.
We then observed the video closely and noticed a poster carrying images of three men featured on it. Taking a cue, we cropped the picture of the poster from a frame in the video and ran a reverse image search on it; the search showed us that the poster is of a campaign which happened during the 2019 elections in Indonesia.
The text in the poster reads "2019 Prabowo Presiden RI" and a related keyword search for the same showed us one of the persons in the picture is Prabowo Subianto, the defense minister of Indonesia.
Further, we went through other related search results and found a YouTube channel carrying similar videos from the same location.
Upon checking, we noticed that the YouTube channel posted multiple videos from the same location and in one of those videos, the location in a signboard is mentioned in Indonesian as "Jawa Timur" that translates to East Java province in Indonesia.
An Instagram post also carried one of those videos and indicated that the location of the video as Madura, East Java province, in Indonesia.
To know more about the video, BOOM reached out to Indonesian fact checking organisations Mafindo and KapanLagi Youniverse.
Aribowo Sasmito, co-founder and fact-check specialist at Mafindo, confirmed that the video is from Mabes Al-hasby Pusat in Jember city of East Java.
The geolocation on Google Street View can be seen below.
When asked about the poster, Sasmito identified the second person present in the campaign poster as Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno were running for presidential and vice-presidential posts respectively in the 2019 Indonesian general elections.
The number '02' on the poster indicates the candidature number of Subianto and Uno in the 2019 elections. For further reference, below is a ballot letter made by the Indonesian general election commission from the 2019 elections.
Adi Syafitrah, a fact-checker at Mafindo, confirmed to us that the other person present in the poster is Habib Rizieq - a leader of the hardline Islamist organisation Islamic Defenders Front (in Indonesian: Front Pembela Islam) which got banned in the country due to its activities in 2020.
Elin Yunita of KapanLagi Youniverse confirmed that the people in the video can be heard speaking in Bahasa language.
The people can be heard speaking in Bahasa in the video. They say, "Now I am charging you through the sword directly. This is not a trial, not an attraction, this is charging from him directly - Alhabdi's central headquarters. There is no intention and purpose except to fight for the religion of Allah and defend the country. Again, not a form of arrogance. So this is not a trial but direct filling, so that it will benefit the world and the hereafter. Remember this is not for pride, but for our true preparation as bodyguards and defenders of habaib and scholars. Fight together to defend religion and country."
"Mysticism used to stay unharmed"
Yunita informed that the people in the video can be seen trying to gain 'mystical' power to keep themselves uninjured when attacked with a sharp weapon as per their belief. She added that the participants were inclined towards Islamic faith.
Yunita explained further, "The men in the video claim that the power could leave them unharmed when they are slashed with a sharp weapon. The man in green said that the activity was not an attraction (to entertain people) or a power show but "an energy filling" one. The participants in the ritual were considered defenders of state, religion (Islam) and religious leaders."
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