A video of a man giving a speech to a crowd is currently viral on social media. Describing the video as recent, several users have claimed that the video was from Bengaluru where Muslims were planning a “complete boycott of Hindus”. Verified user @ByRakeshSimha tweeted this video with the same claim. (Archive)

@ByRakeshSimha’s tweet was viewed close to 4.5 lakh times and retweeted over 3,500 times.

User @Ashtalakshmi8 claimed that Muslims wanted to ‘break Hindus’. “Think 20% Jihadists threatening 80%. What if Hindus turn the tables”, they wrote, urging the Hindus to ‘wake up’. Their tweet garnered over 1.5 lakh views and almost 3,000 retweets (Archive).

Lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha also tweeted the video with the same claim. He wrote, “In Bengaluru, Islamists are boycotting businesses of Hindus after Congress came into power”. The tweet is now deleted. (Archive)

Verified user @MrSinha_ quote-tweeted @ByRakeshSimha’s tweet and wrote, “I’ve literally no issue with it, it’s their right. They’re free to do business with whomever they want to. My only problem is when Hindus do the same, these same people start crying for IsIamophobia” (Archive). User @gvnair91 also tweeted the video with the same claim. Their tweet also garnered over 1,000 likes and was retweeted almost a thousand times (Archive).

Several other users tweeted the same video with the same claim. (Archives- 1, 2, 3, 4)

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The video is also viral on Facebook with the same claim.

Alt News also received several fact-check requests for the video on its WhatsApp helpline.

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Fact Check

We found that the same video had gone viral in March 2023 as well, with users claiming that a Maulana in Barmer, Rajasthan, had urged Muslims not to buy anything from the shops of Jats, Gujjars and Chaudharys, nor sit in their vehicles. User @ajaychauhan41 had tweeted the video with this claim. (Archive)

Replying to their tweet, the official handle of Barmer Police had refuted the claims and said that the video is from 2019, shot in the village Bhojaria under the Bijrad Police Station. On 28.6.2019, one person had died and three were injured due to an accident in Gagaria village, under police station Ramsar.

In protest against the incident, the relatives of the deceased made the demands at the funeral. At this time, this speech was made by a relative of the deceased. Police action had been taken as per the rules, according to Barmer Police.

Taking a cue from this, we spoke with the SHO of the Binjrad Police Station who corroborated Barmer Police’s statement. “In 2019, there was an accident involving a bus in which a Muslim person died. The owner of that bus also owns a petrol pump. The man in the viral video is talking about boycotting the owner of the bus and his other business establishments, not the entire Hindu community. The speech was given at the residence of the deceased on the day of his last rites”, he told us. The SHO additionally informed us that the deceased was not financially well off and the bus owner was asked to support the victim’s family, which the latter refused. Thus, this speech was made in protest.

Alt News also accessed a copy of the FIR on the alleged accident. The name of the accused is mentioned as Mathararam, son of Balaram Meghwal. the name of the complainant is Sher Mohammaed.

We also found Facebook posts from 2019 containing this video. The following video was posted on Facebook on July 3, 2019.

To sum up, following an accident in Rajasthan’s Barmer district in June 2019, in which a Muslim person died, calls were made at his last rites for the economic boycott of the accused driver and his business establishments. A clip of the speech is now viral with the false claim that it is from Bengaluru where Muslims are calling for the economic boycott of Hindus.

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About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.