In the Birbhum district of West Bengal, Trinamool Congress deputy pradhan leader Bhadu Sheikh died after some unknown assailants threw a crude bomb on him. After this attack, the furious mob set 10 to 12 houses on fire. Earlier, it was said that 10 people have died in this incident. However, DGP Manoj Malviya said that the charred bodies of eight people were recovered by the police. Police have registered FIR against Bhadu's killing and over the attack on the houses. 20 people have been arrested by the police so far in connection with the violence in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
In the same backdrop, a claim is going viral on social media saying that 12 people, including 10 Hindu women and 2 Hindu children, were burnt alive in Birbhum. Several videos showing visuals of charred bodies were shared by social media users while making the same claim.
Sudharshan News reporter, Santosh Chauhan, while sharing this claim wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, कश्मीर फ़ाइल में जो बर्बरता हमने देखी वो ठीक वैसी ही है जो आज बंगाल में 10 हिंदू औरत और 2 हिंदू बच्चों बर्बरता के साथ जलाया गया …आज का बंगाल 1990 का कश्मीर बन चुका है."
[English Translation: The barbarism we saw in the Kashmir file is exactly the same as that of 10 Hindu women and 2 Hindu children who were burnt alive in Bengal today. Today's Bengal has become 1990's Kashmir]
, BJP MLA Raja Singh shared a video on Twitter in which he claimed that innocent Hindus were charred to death in Bengal.
Sunil Mittal, BJP District General Secretary North West Delhi also shared this viral claim. He wrote, कश्मीर फ़ाइल में जो बर्बरता हमने देखी वो ठीक वैसी ही है जो आज बंगाल में 10 हिंदू औरत और 2 हिंदू बच्चों बर्बरता के साथ जलाया गया …आज का बंगाल 1990 का कश्मीर है जिसमे हिंदू समाज सुरक्षित नहीं हैं."
[English Translation: The barbarism we saw in the Kashmir file is exactly the same as that of 10 Hindu women and 2 Hindu children burnt alive with barbarism in Bengal today. Today's Bengal is 1990's Kashmir in which Hindu societies are not safe.]
A Twitter user wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "पश्चिम बंगाल फाइल शुरू हो चुकी है| TMC के मुस्लिम गुंडों ने बंगाल में 50 से ज्यादा घर 10 महिलाओं और 2 बच्चों समेत 12 हिंदुओं को जिंदा जला दिया है। महाराष्ट्र की और अन्य राज्योंकी हिंन्दु जनता सचेत और जागरूक न हुयी तो वह दिन दुर नही, जब ऐसी हि घटना की पुनरावृत्ती यहां भी हो."
[English Translation: West Bengal File has started. TMC's Muslim goons have burnt alive 12 Hindus including 10 women and 2 children in more than 50 houses in Bengal. If the Hindu people of Maharashtra and other states do not become careful and aware, then the day is not far when such incidents are repeated here too.]
Another user wrote, "बंगाल में 10 हिन्दू महिलाओं और 2 हिन्दू बच्चों समेत 12 को जिंदा जला दिया गया। देश के मीडिया चैनलों को साँप सूंघ गया है। जेह!दियों और मीडिया का गठबंधन हिन्दूओं के लिए बहुत बड़ा खतरा बन चुका है इस सत्य को स्वीकार करो."
[English Translation: In Bengal, 12 including 10 Hindu women and 2 Hindu children were burnt alive. The alliance of Jihadis and media has become a big threat to the Hindus, accept this truth.]
This claim is widely shared on Twitter and Facebook with a similar claim.
12 including 10 Hindu women and 2 Hindu children were burnt alive in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified their claim and found it to be false. People who died in Bengal belong to the Muslim community.
During the initial investigation, we found two tweets done by the official Twitter handle of West Bengal Police in which they refuted the viral claim. In a tweet, the West Bengal Police wrote, "No Hindu woman or child has died in Bogtui village of Rampurhat in Birbhum. Legal action will be initiated against people who are trying to communalize this tragic incident through misleading posts to create social unrest in the state of West Bengal."
In further investigation, we started searching for the name of the victims who died in this incident. We found a report of The Print dated 24 March 2022. The report mentioned bytes of eyewitnesses and details of the horrific night of the massacre and the possible linkages of violent local politics and the region's prevalent illicit sand and stone mining enterprises. The report identified the eight deceased as Mina Bibi, Rupali Bibi, Jahanara Bibi, Lili Khatun, Sheli Bibi, Nurnehar Bibi, Kazi Sajidur Rahaman, and seven-year-old Tuli Khatun. The name suggests that the deceased belong to the Muslim community.
It is to be noted that in the report it was mentioned that seven of them who died in this incident were relatives who lived together at a house belonging to Sona Sheikh. The villagers alleged that she was previously a close associate of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh who was assassinated. Sona Sheikh, on the other hand, is said to be one of the accused cited in the FIR for Bhadu's death.
We also found a report of The Telegraph in which the names of the deceased were mentioned. Mihilal Sheikh, whose family members were killed in the attack, recounted the details while talking to The Telegraph. After their homes were set ablaze, he and his older brother Banirul ran almost 10 kilometres over rice fields. Mihilal shared the details of the deceased. It includes Sheli Bibi, 32 (Mihilal's wife), Tuli Khatun, 7 (his daughter), Nurnehar Bibi (his mother who Mihilal claimed was a 75-year-old widow), Rupali Bibi, 44 (his elder sister), Jahanara Bibi, 38 (his sister-in-law), Lili Khatun, 18 (his niece), Kazi Sajidur Rahman, 22, (Lili's husband) and Mina Bibi, 40 (Mihilal's sister-in-law).
According to the report, apart from Mina, the other seven were attacked when they took shelter at the home of one Sona Sheikh to escape from a killer squad. Mihilal, Banirul, and two other survivors are currently being held at Gopaljal in the Sainthia police district. Mihilal demanded a CBI probe in the killings, the report stated.
It is evident from our investigation that the claim made by BJP leaders and by others on social media is false. People who died in this incident belongs to the Muslim community. No Hindu has died in this horrifying incident. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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