A 2.20-second clip has gone viral on social media. It shows an aged man seated next to a woman in a village setting even as a younger man confronts him. They almost come to blows. From the conversation, they seem to be fighting over the woman seated on a chair. At one point another woman tries to pull her away from the aged man, but he drags her back. In the end, the ‘couple’ walks away hand in hand.

X user हम लोग We The People (@ajaychauhan41), who has been found amplifying communal misinformation several times in the past, shared the video with the claim that it showed justice being administered in a village in Bangladesh based on Sharia law concerning Halala marriage. In his tweet, he claimed the incident was as follows: A young man got angry and gave triple talaq to his wife. Following Sharia law, he was obliged to arrange his wife’s temporary marriage (Halala) for one night with an elderly cleric of the village. After that night, when he returned the next day to take back his wife, the Maulvi refused to return it. It is seen in the video that the young man has an argument with the villagers. Justice was administered according to Sharia rules in the village, where a respected elderly maulana ruled that the young man could not get his wife back unless the maulvi who married her divorced her. Ultimately, the elderly Maulvi who conducted the Halala Nikah happily took the wife to his home.

The same video was shared with the same caption by @Shunyaa00. Another X user, Azzat Alsalem (@AzzatAlsaalem) shared the video stating, “A MusIim man, gave his wife ‘triple talaq’ (divorce). Following Sharia law, he arranged for his wife’s temporary marriage for one night with an elderly Maulavi. when he returned the next day to retrieve his wife, the Maulavi refused to return her to him.” (sic)

The Same Video was Viral Earlier This Year

Twitter user @igopalgoswami, who amplifies communal misinformation regularly, shared the video in July 2023, with a caption that can be translated as “Grandfather has done Halala. The grandfather turned out to be a H****, and refused to return the grandson’s wife. The wife herself becomes a grandmother to her previous husband. One religion, so many colours. That’s why no one leaves religion easily.” The account has since been suspended by the platform.

The video was also shared with a similar caption by users like @KiritdanGadhav8, @TheAbhishek_IND and @RizwanAhmedAdv.

The video is also viral on Facebook with the same caption as the one used by Gopal Goswami on Twitter.

‘Nikah Halala‘ is a legal practice followed by some Muslims in the context of marriage. According to it, if a man divorces the same woman a third time (after marrying her twice), she becomes ‘haram’ (unlawful or prohibited) for him. He can only remarry the same woman if she first marries another man and consummates the marriage. If then that man dies or willingly asks for a divorce, the woman is allowed to go back to her first husband and remarry him.

So, the claim in the above tweets is that the woman in question was married to her former husband’s grandfather so that she could be married to her former husband again, following the ‘Nikah Halala’ custom. The grandfather has now refused to part with her, hence the fight.

Fact Check

We broke down the video into key-frames and ran a reverse image search on those. This led us to a 9.30-minute-long video posted on the YouTube channel @SharminShakil, which has 178.5K subscribers. This video was uploaded on the channel on November 25, 2022, and the location is mentioned as Bangladesh.

The viral clip is a part of this video. It starts from the 7.10-minute mark.

We noted that the cover photo on the channel’s homepage says “Entertainment Channel”. The description of the video says, “…আমাদের এই গল্প গুলো বাস্তব জীবন থেকে নেওয়া.কারো জীবনের সাথে মিলে গেলে আমরা দ্বায়ী না । ভিডিও গুলো মিনোদন হিসেবে দেখবেন সবাই। আপনাদের জন্য আজকের বিনোদন নিয়ে হাজির হয়েছি। বিনোদন দেখতে থাকুন আর ভিডিওটি ভালো লাগলে লাইক, কমেন্ট, শেয়ার করুন ধন্যবাদ।

Translation: … Our stories are taken from real life incidents. We are not responsible for any similarity with events in anyone’s personal life. Watch these videos as entertainment. I have come to you with today’s entertainment. Keep watching and if you like the video, like, comment, share, thank you. #Sharmin_shakil”.

So, it is clear that the video is not a real life incident. It is made for entertainment purposes.

Further, as the clip starts, we can hear the person behind the camera talking to the viewer and even referring to the presence of a sizable audience at the location. Throughout the video we can see the spectators laughing at the dramatized situation even as the actors come to blows.

We also note that the YouTube channel has videos that show siblings getting married, an 80-year-old man marrying a 13-year-old girl, a Hindu and Muslim couple facing the neighbourhood after getting married. These videos have similar descriptions as the one mentioned above. They say, “This video has been made solely for the purpose of entertainment. Do not compare it with reality. This video does not intend to demean any community or cause any harm or violence towards any community or individual.”

We also noticed that the same set of actors perform different roles in these videos. For example, in the following screenshot, the man in a blue kurta is the grandson in a red T-shirt in the viral video, while the man playing grandfather in that video is the man standing behind. The location of the two videos is also the same.

To sum up, the viral clip showing a confrontation between a man and his grandfather over a young woman is a part of a scripted and fictional video made for entertainment purpose in Bangladesh. The clipped part is being circulated out of context in India with a misleading claim.

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