News18 joins social media in sharing false news: Old video claimed as ‘live murder’ in Meerut

On October 22, News18 Uttar Pradesh tweeted about a video supposedly viral on social media. The channel said that, in the clip, one can hear a blizzard of gunshots piercing through the dead and SSP Meerut Ajay Sahani has stated that the video will be investigated – “मेरठ- लाइव मर्डर का वीडियो वायरल ताबड़तोड़ गोलियों की गूंज से मेरठ में मची है सनसनी .. .. !मृतक को एक के बाद एक गोलियों से छलनी किया गया .. .. !सोशल मीडिया पर जमकर वायरल हुआ है वीडियो .. .. !एसएसपी अजय साहनी ने वीडियो की जांच कराने की बात कही है .”

A few users on Facebook and Twitter shared the same message as News18 while posting a gory video of armed men firing multiple gunshots at a person lying supine on the ground.

On October 24, Times of India reported that Meerut police has lodged an FIR against those who had uploaded an 18-month-old clip supposedly shot in Kenya. According to the report, an FIR has been registered under IPC sections 505 [2]  for publication or circulation of rumour and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. The report further stated, “no action has been taken against the channel so far”.
Meerut police had tweeted that the video is not from the district.

Fact-check

With the help of Invid, Alt News broke the video into multiple frames and found that the video has existed on the internet at least since November 2015.

The video shared on social media is 26 seconds long, whereas the clip posted above is an extended version of 57 seconds. French television station France 24 had debunked this video in March 2017 when it was viral with the claim that it depicted xenophobic attacks in South Africa. “It was published in November 2015 on YouTube (and has since been taken down). In the video some words of Portuguese can be heard and it has appeared on several user accounts based in Brazil, suggesting that it is another video of score-settling, but this time in a favela in Rio.”, reported France 24.

Mexican news website Periódico e-consulta published an article on November 26, 2015, which also stated that the video is from Brazil. While Alt News could not independently verify the location, it is certain that the video is not from India.

In conclusion, a video supposedly from Brazil, as per foreign media, was shared with the false narrative that it depicted a gruesome murder in Meerut.

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