Incident of mob assault in Bihar shared with false, communal narrative

On September 27, Prashant Patel Umrao, who has on numerous occasions spread misinformation via his Twitter account, quote-tweeted a tweet by actor Ajaz Khan, accusing the latter of “spreading hatred” and attempting to “create communal tension” in the country.

Ajaz Khan had tweeted a photograph of an injured man, claiming he is Abu Kamil, a Muslim teacher in Mahua, Bihar who was beaten up by a mob. Prashant Patel Umrao tweeted that Ajaz Khan is lying, and that Abu Kamil had “raped a girl”, and was beaten up by members of his own community. Umrao has a following of over 120,000 on Twitter, and this tweet has already been retweeted over 6500 times.

The same narrative was advanced by ShankhNaad, a popular handle which often posts misinformation of communal nature. ShankhNaad’s Facebook post has been shared over 500 times.

An exhibit of how this failed over-actor Ajaz Khan is spreading communal hate and inciting communal strife in the…

Posted by Shankh Naad on Friday, September 27, 2019

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

Prashant Patel Umrao’s claim that the injured person seen in the photo, Abu Kamil was thrashed by his own community members for having sexually assaulted a girl, is completely false. Alt News found tweets wherein social media users had uploaded a video clip pertaining to the incident. The clip was a video report, supposedly broadcast by Aaj Tak.

Alt News confirmed that Aaj Tak had indeed broadcast a report on the incident in its morning bulletin. The video clip of the report is posted below.

The report states that Shadab (Abu Kamil), who runs a coaching centre in Patna, was forced into a car when he was on his way to Hajipur. He was robbed and beaten up and then thrown out of the car. When the people of the nearby village saw Shadab lying injured on the ground, instead of helping him, mistook him for a thief and thrashed him. Police later came to know of the incident, rescued him and admitted him to the hospital. The report was filed from Vaishali.

This is the only media related information about the incident which Alt News could find. There are no other news reports of the incident.

POLICE CONFIRMS INCIDENT, RUBBISHES SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIM

To ascertain the veracity of the incident and discover the facts of the case, Alt News contacted Sarai police station, which confirmed, “Yes, this incident did take place. The victim had been thrown out of a vehicle, after which he was wandering in a helpless state. Some people from the village nearby gathered around him and in an act of mischief, branded him a thief and started thrashing him. A FIR has been filed in the case and two people have been arrested in the case.” (translated from Hindi).

Rubbishing the claim that the person was beaten up because he had sexually assaulted a girl, the police said, “Nothing of that sort had happened. He was beaten up as he was in a disoriented state and was branded a thief by some villagers.”, adding that the claim that the victim was beaten up by members of his own community, is false. Moreover, police confirmed that the image circulating on social media is indeed that of the mob assault victim.

Prashant Patel Umrao and ShankhNaad’s narrative of the incident is false. The victim had not committed sexual assault, as claimed. Also, he was not beaten up by members of his own community.

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