“बिहार के भागलपूर मे मुसलमानो ने शोभायात्रा पर पत्थर फेके और आग लगा दिया। हिन्दुओ तूम बस सोते रहो । हिन्दु कि औलाद हो तो 1,2,3 जितने भी Group है share करो” (In Bhagalpur, Bihar, Muslim pelted stones at the Shobha Yatra and had set fire to it. Hindus you just keep sleeping. If you are a child of Hindu, then share it to 1, 2, 3 whatever groups you have -translated) A Facebook user, रायल संजय सिंह राजपूत (Royal Sanjay Singh Rajput) has shared two images and videos with the aforementioned text in a Facebook group, नरेन्द्र मोदी 2019 (साथ हैं तो जुडे़). At the time of writing, the post has been shared more than 7400 times. It may be noted that the Facebook group has more than 8,41,000 members.
Not a new claim
A Facebook user had also shared the same set of images and text on May 27, 2018, in a public group called I Support Yogi Adityanath. The post has been shared more than 42000 times at the time of writing.
Bhagalpur Shobha Yatra
Violence had erupted in the communally sensitive area of Nathnagar after people belonging to a minority community protested to loud music played during the rally.”A procession of BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal workers — led by Arijit Shashwat, son of Union Minister of State Ashwini Kumar Choubey — triggered communal clashes in Bhagalpur town on Saturday, as the participants allegedly raised provocative slogan“ stated a report published by The Indian Express on March 19, 2018.
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2018
Verifying the claim
Alt News did a reverse image search and found an image of a man bleeding heavily from his head in an article published by a news website, Royal Bulletin on September 9, 2017. According to the report, the man was injured badly during a domestic dispute with his wife in Bhopa village of Muzaffarnagar district, UP. The report claimed that police refused to take action calling it a husband-wife matter. The editor of Royal Bulletin in a conversation with SMHoaxSlayer has confirmed that the image was taken by a journalist associated with the newspaper. While the EXIF or MetaData of the image on Verexif, a website for verifying the EXIF data of images reveals that it was clicked from Nikon Coolpix A10 camera. Social media websites wipe off the EXIF data(Metadata), hence the image posted on the website is original.
A Google reverse image search shows that the image has been shared earlier on the internet in a different context. The image was shared by Google Plus account named रमेश राजाराम (Ramesh Rajaram). Hence, the image shared on April 2, 2018, with a different context cannot be a representative of an incident claimed to have occurred after a month. It may be noted that Alt News hasn’t been able to trace the original image and its context.
The first video shared along with the Facebook post was uploaded to YouTube on March 27, 2018, titled, “Asansol fight ramnavami rally 27.3.2018”, where a man is filming a full-blown riot as selfie video.
On March 27, 2018, a communal clash took place between the two communities during a Ram Navami celebration in Raniganj, West Bengal. We found more videos with a keyword search on YouTube which appears to be of the same incident and titled on the similar lines.
The second video attached with the Facebook post was uploaded to YouTube on March 27, 2018, with a similar title, “Fight in Asansol at Ramnavami …dangerous” as the first one. Hence, it also seems to represent the same clashes that took place at Raniganj, Asansol.
Locating the videos
On basis of the information in captions, Alt News contacted Uday Pratap Singh, a local reporter from Asansol. He has filmed the location on August 10, 2018, from different angles and frames to help us corroborate that it was indeed from Asansol.
In our analysis, we found that the location in the videos matches. If you look closely the structure of the house in the two videos in question matches with the visual footage.
Note: The angle in the viral videos are peculiar and visually difficult for the eyes to spot the correspondence. Readers are advised to watch the viral videos slowly and then draw parallels themselves.
Ascribing unrelated old images and videos to substantiate an incident is a trend that we have observed on social media. These videos and images are not representative of the communal clashes that took place in Bhagalpur district.
Update: Some of the gory images in the article have been blurred out.
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