Old, Unrelated Clips Viral as ‘Hindus Retaliating in West Bengal’

·4 min read

As incidents of post-post violence continue to be reported from the state of West Bengal, a video purportedly showing clashes between several groups is being shared on social media as 'Hindus retaliating to the violence unleashed in West Bengal'.

However, we found that the said video is actually a compilation of five different clips. While the origin of two of these five clips could not be traced, three clips used to stitch this video are old and have been doing the rounds on social media much before the West Bengal Assembly elections were announced.

CLAIM

The claim with which the aforementioned video is being shared reads: "बंगाल के हिंदुओं ने पलटवार करना शुरू कर दिया है।अभी देखना लोकतंत्र खतरे में आ जाएगा"

[Translation: Hindus in West Bengal have started retaliating. Now see democracy will be in danger.]

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://perma.cc/UHM7-4MFY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p></div>

An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

Also Read: Bangladesh Video Shared as Post-Poll Violence Against Women in WB

The video shared by a Facebook page called सवर्ण आर्मी (Savarna Army) had over 26,000 likes and 8,000 shares at the time of filing this report.

Archived versions of the video being shared on Facebook and Twitter can be accessed here, here, here and here.

The Quint received a query on the claim being made in the video on its WhatsApp tipline as well.

WHAT WE FOUND

We fragmented the viral video into multiple keyframes using the InVid Google Chrome extension and found that it is a compilation of five different clips. We looked at the five clips, one at a time.

CLIP 1

When we ran a reverse image search on one of the keyframes, we found a YouTube video uploaded in 2017 which carried visuals similar to the first 30 seconds of the viral clip. It claimed that the video is from Punjab's Phagwara district where violence broke out between workers of the Shiv Sena and protesters.

(Archived version of the video can be accessed here.)

A side by side comparison between frames in the viral video and the one uploaded on YouTube can be viewed below.

Next, we looked up for Batra Watch Company and Kapil Collection on Google Maps and found that both the shops are located on Gaushaala Bazaar Road in Phagwara, Punjab.

Also Read: Calling Out Fake News Around Bengal Violence Matters, Here’s Why

We found news reports by The Indian Express and the Times of India dated July 2016 which mentioned several details about the incident.

As per The Express’ report, violence had broken out between activists from the Shiv Sena and members of the Muslim community in Phagwara over disruption of the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.

CLIP 2

Another clip used in the viral video where a mob can be seen pelting stones on a mosque could be traced back to 2018.

हिंदुस्तान की तस्वीर उत्तर प्रदेश के करौली गाँव मे हिन्दू वादी के लोग मुस्लिम मस्जिद की तौर फोर पत्थर बाजी करते हुए...

Posted by Mohd Sarfe Alam on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

(An archived version of the post can be accessed here.)

We compared the visuals in the viral video with the one uploaded on Facebook. You can view a side-by-side comparison below.

While The Quint was not able to individually verify the location of the clip, the fact that it has been circulating on internet since 2018 proves that it is not related to the post-poll violence in West Bengal.

CLIP 3

The third clip stitched in the the viral video where some people can be seen vandalising a terrace is from Haryana's Gurugram where members of a Muslim family were beaten up by a mob of 20-25 people on Holi.

The visuals of the incident were carried by several news organisations including NDTV and Times of India.

As per a report by The Quint, the incident is from 2019 when a mob of 20-25 people entered the house of a Muslim family in Gurugram and attacked the members present with rods, sticks and swords.

While the origin of two other clips used in the video could not be traced, it is evident that three clips out of five clips in the viral video are old and unrelated to the poll violence in West Bengal.

Further, this is one many other similar claims debunked by The Quint over a span of just one week, where disinformation is being used to give a communal colour to the situation in the state.

Also Read: Postcard News Shares False Graphic on Religion of Voters in WB

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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