A video of a mob brutally beating up a youth, with rods and sticks, was shared by Shiv Kumar Chawla ASP, the Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission Delhi district president and IT cell and social media in-charge, on Twitter in the early hours of August 31. Along with the video, he claimed that the youth was being beaten black and blue by “RSS goons” for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
He further claimed that the incident took place in front of a police booth near Moradabad police station.
Tagging UP Police and the Director-General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, the Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission leader called for strict action against the RSS goons, whom he claimed forced the victim to chant Jai Shri Ram and beat him up in full public view.
A few hours after Chawla’s Tweet, the Moradabad police took to its official Twitter handle to fact-check the Bhim Army leader. The Moradabad police confirmed that the video in question is from Yamunanagar, Haryana. They confirmed that the incident did not take place under its jurisdiction.
उक्त वीडियो जनपद यमुनानगर, हरियाणा से सम्बंधित है तथा प्रकरण का जनपद मुरादाबाद से कोई सम्बंध नहीं है।https://t.co/OTxJUt0rI9— MORADABAD POLICE (@moradabadpolice) August 31, 2021
The Uttar Pradesh Police also took to its official fact-check Twitter account to bust the fake news, shared by the Bhim Army leader. Sharing the link of a report published by the Hindi daily Jagran, the UP police confirmed that the viral video is not related to Uttar Pradesh but to Thana Hamida, District Yamunanagar, Haryana.
They informed the Bhim Army leader that the Moradabad police have been directed to take necessary legal action against Chawla for distorting facts.
वायरल वीडियो उत्तर प्रदेश से न होकर थाना हमीदा, जनपद यमुनानगर, हरियाणा से संबंधित है।— UPPOLICE FACT CHECK (@UPPViralCheck) August 31, 2021
आपके द्वारा गलत तथ्यो को प्रसारित किये जाने के दृष्टिगत @moradabadpolice को आप के विरुद्ध आवश्यक विधिक कार्रवाई हेतु निर्देशित किया जा रहा है।https://t.co/oUwZjwkGW2#UPPViralCheck#UPPolice https://t.co/3AE8kAe0T9
This particular video along with two others, in which a group of men assault a man with rods and sticks, was widely circulating on WhatsApp recently. The attached message read: “This is the incident of Mewat in Haryana, some boys of Bajrang Dal are beating a Muslim boy, can one become a Hindu by forcefully saying Jai Shri Ram or one can become a Muslim by being forcefully called Allah Hu Akbar, let us stop our country from becoming Hindu rashtra gunda raaj. and give a rite to our future generations.”
The video was labelled ‘forwarded many times’ by WhatsApp.
According to a report published by Jagran on August 18, the incident had taken place on August 12. The victim, identified as one Sahil Alvi was beaten up by a group of youths at Haryana’s Yamunanagar district. In fact, the Haryana police had also registered a case against the miscreant then.
The news was also covered on the same day by other media outlets like Zee News.
Reports had then suggested that the youth was rounded up when he was returning from a court hearing along with 4 others on August 12. Sahil was the plaintiff in this hearing. The defendants are related to the men who attacked Sahil. The feud between them dates back several years. The group of men who attacked Sahil didn’t belong to any particular religion, the reports specified.
Sahil’s uncle Amir had then refuted the communal angle that was affixed to the video when it started doing the rounds on social media, almost two weeks after the actual incident took place. He had also confirmed that there was a point when one of the aggressors and Sahil were friends.
Sahil had also refuted the claim that the incident was communally motivated. He said, “The aggressors also included one Muslim individual. His name was Parvez.
SHO Police Station Hamida and Yamunanagar SP Kamaldeep had also refuted the social media claim that Bajrang Dal was involved in the incident. Furthermore, they stated that the incident was not communal.
The Haryana police had then arrested one of the accused and were on the lookout for the rest.
To sum it up, despite multiple reports about the incident being available on public platforms, the Bhim Army leader used the old video along with the spurious claims to maliciously spread the hate crime narrative, often peddled by the so-called liberals and Islamist apologists with an intention to defame the Hindus.
Earlier, OpIndia had listed 20 incidents where the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan has been misused to turn a random crime into ‘hate crime’.