Trigger warning: Suicide

A video of a person falling off an electricity tower is being circulated on social media with the claim that the man climbed up the transmission tower to offer namaz with the belief that the height would take him closer to Allah.

Twitter Blue user Dr Deepak Deshpande (@ddtimes) shared the said video on June 9 with a caption in Hindi that says: “After efficiently reciting Nawaz on bus, train, plane, road etc., this Maulana used to climb on the pole to offer namaz, because of the height he thought he could be closer to the almighty…so almighty directly called him above… to show heaven. Pray wisdom prevails. Prayers are divine.” (Archive)

Another Twitter user Manoj Srivastava (@ManojSr60583090) shared the same video on June 6 with a caption in Hindi that can be translated as: “This madrassa-stamped guy climbed a tower to offer namaz. Maulvi Madani of Deoband told this in a speech that the higher the height you pray from, the sooner God will listen to you. I wish even the Mullahs who offer morning Azaan would understand this”. The tweet has been retweeted over 200 times. (Archive)

Several other social media users including @MithilaWaala, @Devil_Return72 shared the video with similar claims. Some can be found below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fact Check

We broke down the video with the help of InVid software into several keyframes and ran a reverse image search on some of them. This led us to a few tweets from 2018 which carried the same video. To begin with, this shows that the video is old. (Examples 1, 2)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also came across a report in Spanish by Telemundo, an American Spanish-language terrestrial television network, from May 16, 2018. The headline of the report can be translated as: “Moment at which a young man dies after being electrocuted by an electrical tower (VIDEO)”. As per the report, the incident happened in Barranquilla, Colombia. The 20-year-old man had climbed 50 metres to reach the top of the tower when he lost his balance and touched the wires and ended up being electrocuted.

Taking a hint from the above information we ran a relevant keyword search and found more news reports from 2018.

According to a report by Metro UK, the man’s name was Victor Jose Arroyo Gonzalez. He was hearing-impaired and suicidal. The report says that he climbed up the tower with the intention of jumping off from the height, but passers by and police talked him out of it and he changed his mind. While trying to climb down the tower he touched a live wire and was electrocuted.

Therefore, the claims that the man seen in the video climbed up the transmission tower to offer namaz are false. It is an incident from 2018 in Columbia when 20-year-old Victor Jose Arroyo Gonzalez climbed up the tower with the intention of suicide but later changed his mind and met with this accident while trying to climb back down the tower.

It is pertinent to note that Twitter user Amitabh Chaudhary (@MithilaWaala) shares misinformation on social media frequently. In the past one week, Alt News has found him sharing false information four times, all of them communal in nature. The related fact checks can be read here.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.

Donate Now