[Disclaimer: The video shows violence and can be disturbing for some viewers. Discretion is advised.]

Twitter user @p4pakipower with 70,000 followers posted a clip of a man being beaten by two men using sticks. A burkha-clad woman can be spotted near the victim making repeated pleas in Hindi to stop the attack. @p4pakipower claimed that the attackers were angry because the woman was spotted in a burkha. This video has over 50,000 views.

Kuwait-based journalist Ahmad Alawahidah also posted the video and requested a boycott of Indian goods. This tweet gained over 500 retweets.

Twitter @MuhassileenNet user posted the video with Urdu text that said, “Hindus have started oppressing Muslims again, killing Muslims openly and brutally.”

No communal angle

Last year, the former chief sub-editor at Dainik Bhaskar Prashant Shukla had tweeted the same video. Along with the viral video, he also attached a video of a family member of the man who was beaten. The family member identified the perpetrators as Chirku, Raju, Kismat Ali, Salim and Sonu. He also said multiple members of his family including women were injured. Alt News spoke with Shukla and he confirmed that the man who gave the bite was a family member of the man who was attacked in the viral video.

On the same day, Siddharthnagar police station had responded to Shukla’s tweet stating three men were arrested. Two days later, the police posted a detailed response. It stated that the incident took place on July 6, 2020 and both the accused and the victim were from the same religious community. The statement gave the name of four accused mentioned under the FIR 120/2020 — Istekhar s/o Mohd Halim, Anwar Raza s/o Rajiuddin, Mohd Kaleem s/o Mohd Sai, and Haleem s/o Mohd Sai. Alt News spoke with the concerned police officer at Siddharthnagar and he confirmed that the incident wasn’t communal.

On July 6, 2020, Siddharthnagar PS also tweeted a video bite wherein the officer said this fight was between two neighbours in Siddharthnagar’s Pipri Bujurg village. As per the officer, the fight began with a tiff between the children of the two families and blew out of proportion after adults got involved. The officer added that a complaint was registered against the accused and three men were identified from the video and arrested. He also said that the victim’s family members were being offered medical attention.

The incident was therefore given a false communal spin on social media.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.