Reports of clashes between two communities in Telinpara and Bhadreswar area of Hoogly district emerged on May 11. Soon after West Bengal BJP MP Arjun Singh posted a video which allegedly showed visuals of the communal violence. Posting the video, Singh targeted CM Mamta Banerjee and said, “कब तक हिन्दुओं का खून बहेगा दीदी? मजाक बनाकर रख दिया है आपने और आपकी राजनीति ने बंगाल में हिंदुओं का! (How long will the blood of Hindus continue to flow didi? You and your politics have made a joke of Hindus in Bengal -translated)”. Essentially, the message says that the video shows the suffering of Hindus in the Telinpara incident. The post has garnered more than 2,500 shares. At 40 seconds in the video, one can see a gory visual of a bloodied man.
[The video has disturbing visuals. Alt News is not embedding it in the article.]
Twitter handle @Saaho_sher posted the same video of the bloodied man and said, “Only Hindus are losing their blood in Bengal today.” The tweet has garnered more than 2,400 retweets so far. Two more individuals – Divyans Pathak and Vishwpratap Kumar – tweeted the video with the same narrative.
Alt News found a Facebook post by a Kolkata based social activist Md Zim Nawaz which said that the man in the video actually hails from the Muslim community. His name is Manzoor Alam, a 38-year-old year Jute mill worker based in Bhadreswar locality. Alam lives with his family at a place granted to him in the 12th line of Jute Mill quarters. He hails from Bihar.
গত দু’তিনদিন ধরে হুগলির চন্দননগরের তেলানিপাড়ায় সাম্প্রদায়িক উত্তেজনা তৈরি হয়েছে। এবিষয়ে বেশকিছু গুরুত্বপূর্ণ তথ্য হাতে…
Alt News contacted Nawaz who then put us in touch with Alam. He said, “I was sitting in my quarters with my family after opening Roza in the evening. A group of armed men came to my line, entered the spot [a ground near his house] where we were offering our namaz and started beating us up. First time when they tried to hit on my head with a sharp weapon like a knife, I put my hand in the way to stop them and got wounded. Then, I [eventually] got hit on the head. I am the person who is bleeding in the video. I was later taken to the hospital. I have multiple stitches in my hand and head.” Watching the video on his phone and simultaneously speaking to us on the phone, Alam identified several people in the clip. He said, “The man in the red undervest is ‘Insaaf’, and there is one more boy named Bholu. Both are my neighbours. My younger son Parvez Akhtar can also be spotted in the video.” In the image posted below, the person in the red garment is Insaaf.
Alt News has accessed one more video of Manzoor Alam shot after the attack where his family tries to stop his wounds from bleeding, however, owing to the disturbing nature of the video, it has been withheld. In the image posted below, we have compared a frame from this video showing the profile face of Manzoor Alam with a recent image of him taken after he was discharged from the hospital.
Furthermore, we spoke to the victim’s son and asked him to shoot a testimony identifying the people while watching the video. Jawed Akhtar, the eldest son of Manzoor Alam, is in Delhi away from his family. In the video posted below, he identifies his father and his neighbours while running the viral on another mobile. After pausing the video played in the mobile at a point, he can be heard saying, “These are [my] friends who are standing here. One is Imran who standing behind and the one in a red t-shirt, his name is Insaaf.”
In conclusion, BJP MP Arjun Singh shared a video of a bloodied man after communal clashes in West Bengal and suggested that the person attacked belonged to the Hindu community. However, as it turned out, the video showed a member of the Muslim community who was allegedly attacked by a mob from other community.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people contribute towards the same. Please consider donating in support of this endeavour to fight misinformation and disinformation.
To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD, click here.