A two year old video of a group of men molesting a woman is being circulated on social media with a false claim that a Kashmiri woman was molested in broad daylight
The video is going viral on Facebook with a message in Bengali, which says, “Hindu terrorists rape a Kashmiri Muslim girl in broad daylight and release the video. This Hindu extremists in India should be punished by the government. Let Kashmir be independent. Let Muslims live a beautiful life in Kashmir.”
(Bengali text –
কাশ্মীরে মুসলিম মেয়ে কে প্রকাশ্যে ধর্ষণ করে ভিডিও ছেড়ে দিলো হিন্দু সন্ত্রাসীরা দেখেন।
ভারতের এসব উগ্রপন্থী হিন্দুদেরকে সরকারের শাস্তি
কাশ্মির স্বাধীন হক।
মুসলিম ও হিন্দু সুন্দর জিবন ধারন করোক কাশ্মিরে।)
BOOM, in its investigation, found out that the video and the caption accompanying it are unrelated.
The post, posted on a Bengali Facebook page অপরাধ জগতের খবর (News from the underworld) has been shared over 11000 times in the last 24 hours. The archived version of the viral Facebook post can be seen here.
While the caption along with the video claims that the woman in the video is a Kashmiri Muslim, the dialect in the video is distinctly non-Kashmiri. Also, in the comments section of the video, some people have mentioned that the video is two year old.
In the latter part of the video, a man can be heard talking to the media-persons in Hindi. He says, “The girl was gang-raped and a video of the incident was recorded and made viral in entire Kashipur.” Incidentally, the way he pronounces Kashipur, it sounds like Kashmir.
When we searched the internet with keywords ‘woman molested in Kashipur, incident uploaded online‘, we found several links carrying news reports about the same incident from 2016. The incident was covered widely by the media back then.
A News 24 report on the same incident can be accessed here. Viewers’ discretion needed.
While the newspaper reports maintain that the woman was molested by a group of men, the reports on News 24 claim that she was gangraped.
When BOOM contacted the Kashipur police station and provided them with the video, the official at the police station said: “This is an old incident. The accused persons are in jail now. And the video is not viral in Kashipur as of now.” He also told us that the victim was a Muslim while the perpetrators of crime were local youths from the Hindu community.
The incident had taken place on September 24 in Kashipur town of Uttarakhand. The girl, who had gone looking for her brother at an under-construction site, was molested by a group of men while some youngsters filmed the incident. Around 20 people can be seen standing as mute spectators while the perpetrators continued molesting the girl. The video of the incident was later uploaded online.
By September 25, local police had made seven arrests in the incident.
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Sumit is a fact checker and the News Editor of Boom's Hindi wing. In the six years of his journalistic career, he has worked with the New Indian Express, Times of India and Deccan Chronicle. The dynamic nature of digital media finally made him take the leap from print to online, and don the hat of a digital detective.
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