A viral video showing a woman walking through a crowded room while people bow down or offer flowers to her is viral with false captions claiming her to be the Hathras victim. The caption falsely claims that the video shows the felicitation of the victim for topping her exams.
BOOM found out that the woman in the viral video is an associate at marketing and e-commerce company Safe Shop India's Hyderabad, Telangana office.
The video is viral at a time when the alleged gang rape of a Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has sparked a massive outrage in the country. The 19-year-old victim who was allegedly raped and brutally assaulted in Hathras by four upper caste men succumbed to her injuries in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on September 29.
The case has gained national media's attention after UP police personnel did not allow the victim's family to attend her funeral and cremated the body in the wee hours of September 30. The police department has however refuted these claims.
The viral video, overlaid with a Hindi song, shows a woman walking through a crowded room. Men dressed in suits bow down to touch her feet while women give her roses and shower her with rose petals.
The Hindi caption with the video translates to 'Daughter of Hathras ***** was a topper in studies and you should see the kind of welcome she received. This is the same daughter who was gang raped and her tongue was cut and her eyes were gouged and body was tortured and she was killed'.
(Hindi: हाथरस की बेटी पढ़ाई मे टॉपर भी थी ओर जो स्वागत हुआ देखने लायक था...ये वो ही बेटी हैं जिसका गेंगरेप कर के जीभ काटकर और आँखे एवं शरीर को जख्म करके हत्या कर दी थी )
One of the videos has raked over 4,200 shares.
BOOM did a frame-by-frame analysis of the video along with a reverse image search and found a 1:09 second YouTube video by a user called MD Adil Fayaz on February 20, 2020.
We then did a keyword and Facebook search for Adil Fayaz's profile and found that he was felicitated by officials from direct and network marketing website Safe Shop for its 'Disha program'.
BOOM then contacted the officials at Safe Shop, Hyderabad to confirm the identity of the woman in the viral video. The officials identified her as a senior associate with them. BOOM is withholding her name on request.
We used a facial recognition tool to compare the facial features of the woman in the viral video with that of the woman named by the Safe Shop official. Using publicly available videos of the associate at Safe Shop, we confirmed that the woman in the viral video and the Safe Shop employee are one and the same.
The official also told BOOM that the video is from 2019 or early 2020. On being asked as to why the men in the video were touching the woman's feet, the official said that it was a custom at the organisation.
BOOM has earlier too debunked claims wherein a photograph of another deceased woman was shared by the Puducherry Chief Minister as the Hathras victim.
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