A video showing a group of men thrash a youth while interrogating him about the Tablighi Jamaat - an Islamic sect, has gone viral with false claims online saying a Muslim man was caught while trying to spread the coronavirus.
Two clips of the same incident which happened in Bawana in north west Delhi, is being shared on Facebook with false claims.
The first claim, which includes a six-minute long video, links the Muslim youth to the Nizamuddin Markaz held in Delhi in March. Several attendees of that event tested positive for the virus and are being blamed for spreading it to other states.
Meanwhile another claim, which includes a 45-second video of the same incident, says that man was caught while attempting to contaminate fruits with his saliva.
BOOM found that the claims are false and that three persons have been arrested for attacking the youth. The man identified as Dilshad Ali had returned to Delhi after attending a Tablighi Jamaat markaz event in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Trigger alert: The video contains expletives and violence
Upon listening to the video carefully, BOOM found that at one point the Muslim youth says 'there were other people from Bawana'. Taking cue, BOOM did a keyword search with words 'Bawana, Muslim Man Attacked' and found articles in Indian Express and Times Now which shared screengrabs from the same video.
The news reports identified the man from the video as 22-year-old Dilshad Ali. According to the reports, Ali had returned to Delhi after attending a Tablighi Jamaat markaz in Bhopal on April 5, 2020. The same day he was accosted by a group of men from his village and taken to a farm. Here, they attacked him brutally and accused him of being a part of a conspiracy to spread the virus. The attackers also recorded the entire incident on their mobile phones and shared it on social media.
"He was supposed to return from Bhopal on April 4 but got stuck due to the lockdown. Eventually, he and nine others returned in a truck… In Northwest Delhi, he was caught by police, but was let go after a medical examination," Dilshad's relative told Indian Express.
BOOM also contacted additional PRO of Delhi police, Anil Mittal, to get more details on the case. Mittal rubbished all the social media posts which claimed that Ali was part of a conspiracy to spread Coronavirus.
"Three people who had attacked the man have been booked under various sections of IPC and arrested. The man who was attacked, Dilshad, has also been booked under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for violating the lockdown. He is in GB Pant hospital and is recuperating. He had minor injuries," Mittal told BOOM.
Mittal also said that since Dilshad had come from outside, people were suspicious about his movement.
PTI Misreports Incident
The incident was misreported by wire agency Press Trust of India (PTI) on April 9. The wire agency's report read 'A 22-year-old man was allegedly beaten to death in Delhi's Bawana after he was suspected of a conspiracy to spread COVID-19, police said on Wednesday. The victim has been identified as Mehboob Ali, a resident of Harewali village in Bawana, they said.' PTI also incorrectly identified the man as Mehboob Ali.
India TV and a few other media outlets carried PTI's report claiming the Muslim youth was lynched by a mob in Delhi's Bawana. Maktoob Media (archive), an independent media outlet, also carried the news of the Muslim man being lynched in Bawana.
Updated On: 2020-05-28T12:51:21+05:30
Claim Review : Video shows a Muslim youth caught while trying to contaminate fruits with his spit
Claimed By : Social media
Fact Check : False