A Facebook page भा.ज.पा : Mission 2019 (BJP: Mission 2019) had recently uploaded a video on their Facebook page. The title as well as the caption to the 3:19-minute long video was given in Hindi. While the title read, ‘The condition of Hindus in Pakistan,’ the caption said, “Even your eyes will water after watching this video. If possible, wake others up too.”
The video has since then been watched 1.4 million times and has over 44,000 shares. The video clip shows police entering people’s houses with force and thrashing people. Women wailing in the background can also be heard as men of the family are being taken away. The video has been shared with similar narratives by other Facebook pages like Narendra Modi PM 2019 and बजरंग दल – चौमूं नगर.
Moreover, Dinesh Joshi, who is followed by Prime Minister Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s office tweeted the same video last year where he had claimed that a Hindu was thrashed in Pakistan for hoisting a saffron flag. Fact-checking news portal Alt News found that the same video with a similar narrative went viral in Telugu in 2018.
What is the reality?
Upon conducting a fact check, Alt News found several stories by BBC, BoomLive and Hoax or Fact which debunked the viral video. BBC even spoke to one of their Islamabad-based correspondents who confirmed that the video does not show Hindus being beaten in Pakistan but is instead an incident which took place in the country’s Punjab Province in 2013. To corroborate that news, Pakistani media houses also reported an incident where citizens were thrashed by the country’s ‘Elite Forces.’
Dunya News wrote, “…during a protest against electricity load-shedding in Faisalabad, police entered the houses of protesters and manhandled their women.” Reportedly, situations in the area, which is prone to electricity shortages, had turned for the worse when in 2013, people took to the streets after complaining of power cuts for long hours. Police personnel were deployed after the protestors had turned violent. The video clip is from that same incident reported Alt News. Alt News also found that the same video being circulated on different platforms with different narratives as well.
Moreover, the video also carries a stamp on its lower right-hand side corner. Alt News found that the video has been created by Santosh Srivastava, who is associated with other Pro-BJP pages on social media which publishes misinformation.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.
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