A two-minute video of a man requesting a group to not slaughter cows near his home has been widely shared on social media. The man can be heard saying “…I have an issue with you slaughtering 20 cows… I won’t let you… seedhi baat … let’s see how you do it this time. Is this a slaughterhouse? Do you have a license? I get (bad) smell.” The video has been shared with the claim that a Kashmiri Pandit stood up against Muslim butchers in Kashmir.

Facebook Page ‘RSS Fan Club‘ posted this video on September 15. In less than 24 hours, it had over three million views. The page pointed that this was the impact of nullification of Articles 370 and 35 (A) in the valley.

Several Twitter users, including @VidyaSanatani and @prabhato777, also made similar claims. @VidyaSanatani wrote that all Hindus should be like the man recording the video.

Alt News received several requests to fact-check this claim on our WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160). The messages are labelled “Forwarded many times”. The Hindi text associated with the video lauds Prime Minister Modi. In a similar manner, the English text credits PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for a “change in the attitude of Hindus” in Kashmir.

[Hindi text: कश्मीर में एक कश्मीरी पंडित कई मुल्लों का मुकाबला करते हुए। मुल्ले मौलवी गाय काटना चाहते हैं लेकिन वह सबको खुलेआम चेतावनी दे रहा है। मोदी होने का मतलब समझ में आया। खासकर उन लोगों को समझ जाना चाहिए जो नोटा नोटा चिल्लाते है]

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ALTERCATION BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE SAME COMMUNITY

Alt News performed a reverse image search and found that in August, Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma tweeted two videos, including the viral clip. He wrote that the video was recorded by a Muslim around Eid this year. Eid was observed on July 21.

In the second video, we see cows in a front building surrounded by unkempt grass. The building bears a green sign with Urdu text ‘Markazi Dar Al Uloom Daud’, which is an Islamic seminary institution.

Video recorded by a man named Arif Jan

In the closing seconds (2:11 mark) of the video, we can see the face of the man who recorded the incident. A local from Kashmir connected us with him and shared his mobile number. The man’s name is Arif Jan, a resident of Ganderbal. Alt News compared Jan’s WhatsApp display picture and his face visible in the viral video and found a match. Upon Jan’s request, we are refraining from visually identifying him.

Alt News spoke with Jan over a telephonic call. He confirmed that he took the video and said, “This incident happened around Bakra-Eid. I’m a Muslim and the social media claims are false.”

“There is a Dar Al Uloom next to my home. Both properties share a common wall. These days it’s closed due to the ongoing pandemic. Two years ago, people had conducted sacrificial rituals there. Back then, I had requested them to not repeat this again because of hygiene-related issues — residual blood and leftovers. So when it was happening during this Bakra-Eid, I felt disrespected that my request was not taken seriously and decided to amplify my voice via social media,” he continued adding that he now regrets uploading the video on social media due to the false communal spin injected into the incident.

He clarified, “I would like to make it clear that I didn’t oppose the sacrifice of animals but the place where they were chosen to be sacrificed. I suggested that the sacrifice should take place behind the Masjid compound which is just 200 feet away.”

“Shortly after the incident, the Falah Behbood Masjid Committee intervened and the issue was resolved. I would like to make it clear, I have no animosity with my neighbours,” he said.

Masjid committee’s response

Alt News spoke with the chairman of Falah Behbood Committee, Ghulam Rasool Kara, 85. He said, “This issue was resolved about two months ago. The crux of the issue was the place of sacrifice. Requests made by Arif Jan were practical. I would like to further point out that such conflicts aren’t common. The committee reiterated to the concerned neighbourhood that mass sacrificial rituals should not happen in close proximity of residences and the property of Masjid committee should be used.”

Social media users therefore falsely claimed that a Kashmiri Pandit stood up against Muslims against cow slaughter in Kashmir. However, both parties hailed from the same community and the issue wasn’t related to the slaughtering of cows but the sacrifice being conducted near a residence. Arif Jan, the man who raised the issue, was concerned about hygiene.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.