Recently, a video has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook in which police personnel and others can be seen crowding around the corpse of a young girl. Social media users shared the clip, claiming that the girl had been raped and murdered.
Posting the video, Facebook user Sadhana Saini wrote, “Tejvir Prajapati’s 3-year-old girl was raped and killed in Aligarh. I request everyone to share this widely so that she gets justice as soon as possible. Such monsters have no right to live in our society.” The clip received more than 3.3 lakh views and over 8,500 shares at the time of writing. (Archive link)
(Disclaimer: This article does not carry any links to the video due to its disturbing nature.)
Twitter user @bharatmali_ also shared this video and the accompanying claim of rape and murder. Her post received more than 650 retweets at the time of writing. Similarly, many other Twitter users shared the viral clip and claim. (Archive link)
Several users also gave the incident a communal angle, claiming that the girl was raped and murdered by her Muslim neighbour. Twitter user @sawalaramparmar wrote, “In Aligarh, a 38-year-old Muslim neighbour raped Tejvir Prapati’s three-year-old daughter and fled. More than 600 people retweeted this post at the time of writing. (Archive link)
Alt News also received a request to fact-check the video on WhatsApp (+91 76000 11160).
When we did a keyword search on Twitter, we found a tweet by Aligarh police which said that the girl died in a road accident on November 4 in Akrabad. In their tweet, the police clarified that the social media claims circulating about the three-year-old’s death were completely baseless.
थाना अकराबाद क्षेत्रान्तर्गत 03 वर्षीय बच्ची की सड़क दुर्घटना में हुई मृत्यु के सम्बन्ध में सोशल मीडिया पर वायरल भ्रामक/निराधार/तथ्यहीन है।
सत्यता की जानकारी किये बिना भ्रमित ट्वीट न करें ।
सत्यता जानें ….@Uppolice pic.twitter.com/04Pd2SKIi9
— ALIGARH POLICE (@aligarhpolice) November 7, 2020
Agra AGD Twitter handle also replied to a user making the rape claim.
Alt News spoke with Umesh Chandra Sharma, a police officer at Akrabad police station. “The husband and wife were in a personal dispute for six years. Both are fighting cases in court. The deceased girl was living with her mother in Nanihal and her father was in Jahangirabad, Bulandshahr, where he has a home. I was at the scene of the crime. All the senior officials, including the SP, IPS, and CO were present as well. We visited all the homes in the neighbourhood to collect evidence and ascertain whether there was a possibility of such an incident happening,” he informed.
The officer further said that the father of the girl who levelled the rape allegations was present during the postmortem and had seen everything. Sharma also said that injuries were visible on the private parts of the girl because the vehicle had run over her. Her knees were also wounded. “Only a case of accident has come up in the postmortem report. All investigations have taken place from the top level.”
When we questioned Sharma on the deceased’s father refusing to accept the postmortem, he said, “He has been threatening his wife and her family. We took a video statement of the wife in the presence of locals and sent it to our officials. The husband eventually left, saying that he would send everyone to jail ”
The tweet below contains the wife’s statement.
दुर्घटना में मृत बच्ची की मां द्वारा दिया गया बयान pic.twitter.com/94eWDPzhud
— ALIGARH POLICE (@aligarhpolice) November 8, 2020
We contacted the mother of the deceased and asked her about the possibility of her daughter being raped. She said, “No, nothing of this sort has happened. I was sweeping inside and my girl went outside to play. When everyone heard her scream and rushed outside, we saw that a car had hit her and fled… This case has been going on for six years (between the deceased’s mother and her father). That’s why my husband started this rumour.” It is noteworthy that the name of the deceased’s father is claimed to be Tejvir Prajapati in viral posts. However, as confirmed by his wife, his name is Arun Kumar.
We reached out to Arun Kumar and asked if he had made allegations of rape. He told Alt News, “Whether or not she was sexually violated, the fact is that they are hiding what really happened. I do not believe that a car hit her. You can look at the photo or video, there is no such mark on her body to indicate this. It does not look like what they are saying actually happened. They had told some relatives that the girl got crushed by a tractor while playing.”
We asked him whether he had shot the viral video. “In the video, I am standing next to the child (with a white cloth tied on his face). The video has been shot from my viewing angle but many people were standing next to me with phones. I do not know who made and uploaded this clip online. ” He further told us, “I am not saying there was rape. Bit whatever happened, it was definitely not a tractor accident.”
Apart from this, Kumar said that there was no mark on the child’s body. However, Alt News noticed a black mark on the foot of the deceased, as reported by the police. We are not including the picture to protect the identity of the minor girl.
The Muslim perpetrator claim was later added to the video. However, Alt News did not find evidence of a communal angle during our fact-check. In this case, neither the police nor the parties involved mention any Muslim neighbour.