A 1.26-minute-long video is being widely shared on social media. In the video, seemingly CCTV footage from an elevator, two girls can be seen standing inside the lift when its doors open and two men enter. They forcibly cover the mouths of the girls with something in their hands and one of the girls, who is visible throughout the clip, tries to fight off the ‘abductor’. After a while, both the girls seem to have passed out. At the end of the clip, the men can be seen carrying the girls on their shoulders.

Several social media users claim that the incident occurred in Bengaluru and the it was a case of ‘Jihadis’ abducting Hindu girls.

X (formerly Twitter) user PRIYA RANA (@priyarana3101), who according to her bio is a reporter at News1India, shared the above-mentioned video on January 5 with a caption in Hindi that can be translated as: “#Karnataka #Bangalore See how the Jihadis abducted the Hindu girls from the lift by inhaling chloroform, made them unconscious in the lift, put both the girls in the car parked in the parking lot and drove away, the girls and women who are kidnapped are found. They disappear forever! 🤔”. (Archive)

Atul °Kushwaha🇮🇳 (@RealAtulsay), an X Premium user, shared the same video on January 4 with a similar caption.

Readers should note that @RealAtulsay has shared misinformation several times in the past.

Several other users shared the viral clip with similar captions on X and Facebook.

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Fact Check

We noticed that an Instagram ID, @seetrendinginformation, could be seen on the video frame of the viral clip.

We looked up the said Instagram page @seetrendinginformation. We found that the page had shared the same video on December 23, 2023, with a caption in Hindi that can be translated as: “😥Beware, this tragedy can happen in any city. Girls were picked up from the lift #virals #short #news #reel”. It had no mention of where the incident occurred or who were the perpetrators and the victims.

We noticed that an Instagram user commented that the incident was from Egypt.

Taking a cue from the above we ran a relevant keyword search in both English and Arabic which led us to several news reports related to the incident.

We came across a news report by Roya News which carried a screengrab from the viral video. The title of the report said: “Father drugs, kidnaps his two daughters in Cairo”. The report was published on December 21, 2023. The report mentioned that the incident occurred in Cairo and that investigation revealed that family disputes prompted the father of the two girls to attempt to kidnap them.

Another news report by Sky News Arabia mentioned that the Egyptian interior ministry had released an official statement related to the matter. The Ministry of Interior of Egypt is a part of the Cabinet of Egypt. It is responsible for law enforcement in Egypt. We found their statement on X posted on December 20, 2023. The tweet carried a screengrab from the viral clip of the kidnapping and an image in which one of the girls from the elevator could be seen calmly walking with a man, seemingly her father.

The statement in Arabic can be translated as:

“#Ministry of Interior. As part of the Ministry’s efforts to uncover the circumstances of a video clip that was circulated on social media, it shows two people taking two girls from an elevator. Upon examination, it was revealed that on 12/13/2023, the mother of the two girls (a resident of the #Nasr_City_Third_Police Department in Cairo) submitted a report to the department stating that her ex-husband (an accountant in one of the countries) accompanied by others had taken one of their two children against her wish… and requested proof of this without mentioning any other details, claiming that there were family disputes between them, as they were staying with their father after their separation until 2022, and she obtained a ruling regarding her custody of their two daughters and its implementation after that, and she did not provide any evidence of that.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that the father of the two girls sought the help of two people to commit the incident as shown in the video clip, and that he left the country on the same date as the incident, accompanied by his daughter, via Cairo’s airport to one of the countries of her own free will and desire, as proven by security surveillance cameras. After codifying the procedures, it was possible to arrest the two people, ‘one of them shown in the video clip with the father of the two girls – and the second, the driver of the car used to commit the incident.’

Through discussion with them, they admitted to committing the incident as referred to in agreement with the father of the two girls in exchange for a sum of money. Legal measures were taken.. and the Public Prosecution took over the investigation.

Therefore, the above findings make it clear that contrary to the viral claims, neither is this incident from Bengaluru, Karnataka, nor is it communal in nature. Hence, the viral claims are false.

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