A video widespread on social media shows a man stopping two Muslim men riding a motorcycle without helmets. This leads to a heated altercation and a mob brandishing swords and guns come to the bike riders’ aid. The people carrying weapons also seem to hail from the Muslim community.

Twitter @Shrish_1987 posted a tweet thread where he wrote, “Watch this two-part video… Make sure the secularists watch this. When stopped for not wearing a helmet, they gathered over 25 people with guns and swords with just one phone call. Does the police pardon fines for a Hindu if they are on their way to the temple? The truth is, neither India’s law nor the constitution mean much to these messengers of peace. They only care about Sharia.”

Similarly, @vinodsharma1834 promoted a similar claim, terming the men ‘jihadis’. His video gained more than 400 retweets and over 2,000 views.

UP Express News reported that a mob gathered with swords and guns after Raghavendra Kumar asked two men to wear helmets.

Distasteful road safety awareness video leads to misinformation

The video has been clipped from a road safety awareness video produced by Bihar resident Raghavendra Kumar, also known as Helmet Man India. While the video is an attempt to educate people on road safety and the need to wear helmets, Kumar unnecessarily portrays the Muslim community in a negative light. In the past, he has made responsible videos and these can be watched on his YouTube channel. However, the one currently viral is in poor taste and the cause of widespread misinformation.

“The awareness video was recorded on March 21 in Bihar’s Kaimur district. The fight shown in the video is staged and no one was carrying a gun. The gun seen in the video is an air gun,” Kumar told Alt News adding, “People from Hindu and Muslim communities were involved in making this video. I also took the permission from the local religious head.”

Helmet man of India raghvendra kumar

हेलमेट मैन ने नमाजियों को मस्जिद जाने से रोककर कहा सड़क दुर्घटना मुक्त बनेगा भारत.
तलवार और बंदूकों पर भारी पड़ा हेलमेट.
#Helmetman #Trafficrules

Posted by Helmet Man India on Saturday, 20 March 2021

We also noticed that Kumar has tweeted the UP Express News article that omits the crucial detail that the video is staged. Kumar admitted that he shared a misleading report. “The participants brought the props [swords and air gun] upon my request,” he said.

Kumar also shared a two-minute clip clarifying that the video is staged.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.