Dalit man thrashed by mob inside a mosque? Viral video, false claim

A video is viral on social media with the claim that it depicts a Dalit man being mercilessly thrashed by a mob of Muslim men in Uttar Pradesh. The man was beaten up for entering a mosque, the claim furthers. A Twitter user @shailen_pratap shared the video saying, “उत्तर प्रदेश में एक दलित को मस्जिद के अंदर खींच कर ले गए और मार-मार कर अधमरा कर दिया। #MobLynching (A Dalit was dragged into a mosque in Uttar Pradesh and brutally thrashed. #MobLynching.)” 

@shailen_pratap is followed by the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party – union home minister Amit Shah and union commerce and railway minister Piyush Goyal’s office. He is also followed by Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. His tweet drew nearly 2,000 retweets and was viewed over 16,000 times. His tweet was quote-tweeted by journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra.

A Twitter user @RituRathaur also quote-tweeted @shailen_pratap’s tweet and wrote, “Mob Drags one dalit Hindu insidea mosque & almost lynch him to death”. She is also followed by top BJP leaders – union ministers Giriraj Singh and Piyush Goyal’s office.

The video is also circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp.

Fact-check

A keyword search redirected Alt News to news reports by Dainik Bhaskar, Punjab Kesari and Patrika which said that the man was beaten up by a mob on the allegation of stealing a mobile phone. The incident had occurred in UP’s Harpur district. According to Dainik Bhaskarhe was taken hostage by a mob when he had gone to pray namaz and beaten for more than an hour. A complaint was filed by his brother Akhlaq.

If one carefully listens, at about 17 seconds into the video someone can be heard saying, “Do mobile nikal liya tha (He had stolen two mobile phones.)”

Harpur police had tweeted that the incident had taken place on May 29 and a case was registered in Harpur Nagar police station against those who were beating up the man. An English translation of the police statement says – “The above case is of May 29, 2019 where the Harpur Nagar police station has started proceedings against three accused under Section 151 of CrPC act, NCR no. 278/19 section:323/504 on the basis of the written complaint filed by the victim’s brother on 02.06.2019. Legal proceedings have started.”

Alt News contacted Harpur Nagar police station and were informed by the SHO that both the victim and the perpetrators hailed from the same community. “He was beaten on the suspicion of mobile theft. Three people were arrested,” SHO Mahavir Singh told Alt News.

In conclusion, a mob of Muslim men did brutally thrash a man inside a mosque. However, the claims that the victim was a Dalit and that he was beaten up for entering the place of worship are false. As clarified by the police both the victim and the perpetrators are of the same community and the victim was thrashed on the suspicion of mobile theft.

Recently, several incidents were found to be shared on social media with a communal narrative. Stone-pelting at a mosque in Jaipur was falsely circulated as members of the Muslim community attacking a temple in Haryana. A video of sexual molestation in UP was also falsely ascribed to members of the Muslim community. An assault on a tribal woman from MP was shared on social media with multiple false, communal narratives.

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