A set of three videos, in which a group of men assault a man with rods, is widely circulating on WhatsApp. The accompanying message reads, “This is the incident of Mewat in Haryana, some boys of Bajrang Dal are beating a Muslim boy, can one become a Hindu by forcefully saying Jai Shri Ram or one can become a Muslim by being forcefully called Allah Hu Akbar, let us stop our country from becoming Hindu rashtra gunda raaj. and give a rite to our future generations.” The video has been labelled ‘forwarded many times’.

The following screenshots are stills from the viral video.

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VIDEO VERIFICATION

The videos in question show the assault of 21-year-old Sahil Alvi at Haryana’s Yamunanagar district that took place on August 12. Sahil’s uncle Amir told Alt News, “This incident took place after Sahil and four others were returning from a court hearing on August 12. Sahil was the plaintiff in this hearing. The defendants are related to the men who attacked Sahil. This feud goes back several years. The group of men who attacked Sahil didn’t belong to one religion. Therefore, we can not say it was communal in nature.” Amir added that there was a point when one of the aggressors and Sahil were friends. The incident was also reported by Dainik Jagran and Zee Punjab Harayana and Himachal.

Sahil is currently admitted at the Vardhman Hospital Muzaffarnagar. Asma, his mother told Alt News, “After the incident, Sahil was admitted at Kohli Hospital, Yamunanagar and later transferred to Gaba Hospital. However, we decided to shift him to a bigger hospital in Muzaffarnagar in hopes of quicker recovery. Sahil has multiple fractures on his arms and legs. He has to undergo six operations. As of now, two operations have been done. All this will cost around seven lakhs.”

Alt News spoke with Sahil and he refuted the claim that the incident was communally motivated. He said, “The aggressors also included one Muslim individual. His name was Parvez.” However, he added the attackers often used Mulsim slurs while addressing him.

We also spoke with a Yanunagar-based journalist who requested anonymity, SHO Police Station Hamida, and Yamunanagar SP Kamaldeep. Each one of them refuted the social media claim that Bajrang Dal was involved. Furthermore, they stated that the incident was not communal.

Yamunanagar SP Kamaldeep said, “Bajrang Dal was not involved. Nor was this a communal incident. This is a case of revenge between two anti-social groups. As of now, three persons are arrested.” SHO of Hamida police station and the SP confirmed that Umit Gupta, Rajinder (Gullu), and Rajan (Chikli) were arrested. The readers should note these names are not listed among the seven suspects in the FIR but in the testimony section. (view PDF)

In an interview with Satya Khabar, Amir said that the police refused to file the case as a life-threatening attack despite Sahil being attacked with rods.

To sum it up, videos of the brutal assault of 21-year-old Sahil Alvi by a mob are being shared on social media. The claim that a Muslim man is being thrashed is true. However, Bajrang Dal was not behind the attack. As for the claim that the incident was communal, Sahil has refuted the allegation. Even his family and police have denied a communal motive.

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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.