A disturbing incident from from Surat, Gujarat of a man beating another and forcing him to lick his spit from the bonnet of a vehicle, is being shared with a false communal angle. BOOM spoke to Surat Police who stated that both the accused and victim in the case are both Muslims and that the incident is not communal in nature.
In the viral video, a man can be seen violently pushing and hitting another man who pleads with him to let him go. After this, the man beating him spits on the bonnet of a parked vehicle and forces him to lick the same.
The clip is being shared with the communal caption that claims the man is being beaten by a Hindu and forced to lick his spit to break the Ramzan fast. The video is being shared with a claim linking it to the recently concluded month of Ramzan, when Muslims across the country, fast for a month leading up to the festival of Eid-ul-fitr.
The caption text says, "A Muslim man being forced to lick a #Hindu's spit. Most probably to break his Ramadan fast. Vehicle's windshield reveals that the incident is from Surat"
NOTE: VIEWERS DISCRETION ADVISED
A #Muslim man being forced to lick a #Hindu's spit. Most probably to break his Ramadan fast.— Burping Indian | سیف (@BurpingI) May 30, 2020
Vehicle's windshield reveals that the incident is from #Surat#islamaphobia_In_India #IndianMuslimsInDanger #MuslimTwitter pic.twitter.com/8wJNwxXoXa
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We searched with the same caption and found that the viral video had been shared with the same false caption.
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The Milli Gazette, a fortnightly newspaper based in Delhi had initially shared the viral video with the false claim, however, later updated caption stating that the incident had happened in April 2020.
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The previous caption claiming a communal angle behind the incident
BOOM found that the incident is from Surat where the victim was beaten by the accused for being out during the COVID-19 lockdown in the city. The Surat police have denied all communal claims and said that video is from April 6, weeks before the month of Ramzan started.
Taking clues from the video, we searched with the keywords, 'Surat', 'man beaten', 'spit', and found news reports that the incident was from Limbayat area of Surat, Gujarat.
The Gujarati language news wing of ABP news - ABP Asmita reported the incident on April 8, 2020 and identified the accused as a Salman who was yet to be arrested.
We then contacted Limbayat Police who said that the accused has been arrested and that there is no communal angle and that both the parties are from the same community.
VM Makwana, Police Inspector, Limbayat police station confirmed the video and said the incident is from April 6, 2020, and that the arrested accused has been identified as Salman Jan Mohammad Ansari (23) and the victim as Aslam Abdul Salam Ansari (25). He added that the video which is since viral, was recorded by a minor accompanying the accused.
Head constable Ajit Chhatra Singh who was part of the investigating team told BOOM, "The victim had gone to the market and there the accused confronted him about breaking the lockdown. He then started assaulting the victim and in a fit of anger made him lick his spit." He further added that the police started investigations after the video went viral and identified the accused Salman Ansari on April 10, 2020. "After the viral video, we traced the accused and the victim, so that the latter could file an FIR," he said.
BOOM was able to access the FIR filed by the victim, Ansari, where he states that on April 6, 2020, he had stepped out to buy medicines for his mother when he was stopped by two unidentified people and the accused started abusing him and beat him up and then made him lick the spit of the accused.
BOOM could not independently speak to the victim to verify the sequence of events.
The FIR also mentioned an accomplice of the accused, who according to the Limbayat Police is a minor and recorded the viral video.
We also found another news report by TV9 Gujarati which had also reported on the incident on April 8, 2020.
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