A video viral on WhatsApp is being shared against the backdrop of the hijab row in Karnataka. Multiple colleges have barred Muslim students from wearing hijab inside institution premises, leading to protests by affected students. Several right-wing Hindu students have also organised counter-protests that saw young saffron-clad men heckle and harass students adorning hijab and burqa.

The viral video shows a group of young men throwing buckets of water on burqa-clad women. Alt News has received multiple verification requests for the video on its WhatsApp helpline (+91 7600011160).

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Viral since 2019

The same video was shared three years ago with the claim that it represents the mistreatment of the minority Muslim population in India. It was circulated against the backdrop of Pakistan’s decision to release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as a “peace gesture.” Pakistani political commentator Zaid Hamid was among those who circulated the clip. He wrote that the Indian populace has no regard for human dignity and the honour of women and children. “Let the bloody pilot go back …then see how low they will sink,” Hamid’s tweet ended with this statement. His account is withheld in India but an archived link to the tweet can be accessed here.

Another Pakistani Twitter user shared the video with an Urdu caption. Its rough English translation reads, “Hindu extremists humiliating Muslim students.”

The clip posted by Azad Kashmir native Abdul Rauf Siddiquie received more than 28,000 shares. Last year, Siddiquie had falsely claimed that the Indian army burned houses in Kashmir.

انتہا پسند ہندووں کی مسلمان یونیورسٹی طالبات کے ساتھ شرمناک حرکتیں ان بہنوں کے لئے کون آواز اٹھائے گا 😢😢

Posted by Abdul Rauf Siddiquie on Thursday, 28 February 2019

Another narrative used to share the video was – “RSS groups torturing Muslim college girls.”

Video from Sri Lanka

Alt News traced this video to February 23, 2019, when it was posted by a few users as an incident of ragging in Eastern University, Sri Lanka. If one carefully listens to the audio in the clip, people can be heard talking in Tamil, which is one of the dominant languages of Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan resident Mohamed Sarjoon posted about the incident.

#இலங்கை கிழக்கு பல்கலைக்கழகத்தில் கற்கும்
(eastern university of srilanka ) #இனத்துவேசமிக்க மாணவர்களின் பகடிவதைக்கு ஒரு…

Posted by Mohamed Sarjoon on Saturday, 23 February 2019.

Another Sri Lankan citizen had uploaded the identical video on February 24, 2019. We also found a local Tamil website Online Ceylon that reported the incident.

The website had published another article on the case of ragging that carried a similar video of young men throwing buckets of water. However, in this video, not only burqa-clad women but girls in school uniforms can also be seen trying to escape. The article and the video are no longer accessible.

முஸ்லிம் மாணவிகள் மீது மட்டும் பகிடிவதை என்பது பொய்; முழுமையான வீடியோ

முஸ்லிம் மாணவிகள் மீது மட்டும் பகிடிவதை என்பது பொய்; முழுமையான வீடியோ

Posted by தமிழ் View on Sunday, 24 February 2019

A video from Sir Lanka is, therefore, circulating with the false claim that it shows young men harassing Muslim students in Karnataka.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.