“रामपुर मे आजम खान के भतीजे ने एक सिक्ख ट्रक चालक की पगड़ी उतार कर बेरहमी से पीटा, सिक्ख धर्म के चालक ने कहा जितना मारना है मार लो पर मेरे बाल ना खोलो, पर उन्होने बाल पकड़ कर घसीट घसीट कर मारा…”(Azam Khan’s nephew, in Rampur, mercilessly beaten a Sikh truck driver by taking off his turban, the driver of Sikh religion said, beat me as much as you can but do not get my hair out of turban, but he was dragged and beaten up with his hair being pulled by them – translated). This message is being circulated on social media, along with a video which shows a group of men mercilessly thrashing a man with long hair and repeatedly tugging at his hair. The message is accompanied by an appeal to share it to the hilt so that mainstream media is compelled to telecast it.

The above tweet was posted in the afternoon of June 15 and is among the first instances of it appearing on Twitter. It is however on Facebook that the video and the message are being shared, mostly by individual users who have uploaded it on their profiles. This suggests that it is being shared widely on WhatsApp.

What is the Truth?

Alt News checked to see whether any Sikh truck driver was assaulted in UP in recent days as claimed. We found no news relating to the incident. We then took keywords “attack on sikh truck drivers” and searched it on YouTube. After scrolling down, we found a video by akaalchannel’ channel, which was posted three months ago with the title ‘Truth Behind Viral Video of Beaten Up sikhs in Assam’.

The clip of the viral video with the false claim can be seen from 7:27 in the above video. To further check the veracity of the video by Akaalchannel, we did a Google search with the same keywords used for the YouTube search and came across the link relating to the incident.

Video from Assam, not UP

The video is from Kamrup district of Assam and NOT from Uttar Pradesh as claimed. The incident took place in February 2018 after the man in the video along with another person were suspected of child kidnapping and cornered by the locals. They were also accused of looting the house of a resident in the area. They were later handed over to the police which investigated the matter. It may be noted that there is no communal angle to the incident as alleged. This was reported by News 18 Hindi.

These kind of videos with false, incendiary messages have been shared multiple times by fake news purveyors in the past, with the objective of inciting communal tension and exacerbating mistrust. Viewers and readers are advised to be circumspect, as violent and gory videos are often accompanied with provocative and false claims.

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About the Author

Fact-checker, Interning with Alt News