A video is being circulated on social media claiming that it is from Kerala. The text accompanying the video says ‘In Mallapuram district of Kerala, Muslim youths throw stones on Hindu houses shouting Allahu Akbar’.

The text with the video further goes on to assert that Kerala has become a haven for Muslim extremists and that Mallapuram and Kannur are witnessing ‘ethnic cleansing’. Hindus are supposedly in danger in Kerala. Among those who shared the video is Hardik Bhatt, who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

The video has been widely circulated on social media, and keeps appearing in the public domain from time to time. So when and where is this video from? Alt News conducted a fact check and found that the video indeed is from Kerala, but it was not an attack on Hindus by Muslim but the manifestation of a political rivalry.This video has been available on YouTube since 2016. It is of August 15, 2016 and the attackers are Indian Union of Muslim League (IUML) activists who are attacking the CPI(M) office in Nadapuram, Kerala.

More than 50 houses were attacked, according to the local news channel Manorama News. The report, posted above, says “Widespread attack against houses in Nadapuram, even as attempts are being made to bring peace to the region. Fifty one houses have been attacked. The attacks have happened mostly against houses of supporters of Congress, BJP and CPI(M). 2 dozen cases have beem registered. The attackers had their faces covered to prevent identification by the police. autorickshaws, bikes and cars have been damaged. Cases have been registered against 50 persons. All political parties are active in attempts to bring peace. The Police have deployed large number of personnel”. The assault was reportedly in retaliation for the murder of an IUML worker allegedly by CPI(M) workers on August 13, 2016, two days before this attack. Aslam was an accused in the murder case of Shibin, a CPI(M) worker. He was acquitted by a lower court.

The attack on the houses took place when Aslam’s body was being taken to the cemetry. Nadapuram has been the setting for the turf war that has been going on between the IUML and CPI(M) since the 1990s. Five casualties have occured since then in the political violence that ensued. Two weeks after this incident, the key accused in his murder was arrested. One month later, six IUML workers were arrested for attacking the houses.

Kerala has so far been an impregnable fortress for the Sangh parivar. The demography of the state is ill-suited to the politics of Hindutva. However, this reality is no handicap to the conscious and proactive effort by right-wing elements to stay relevant in the Left-dominated state. One of the ways to do so is to exploit social media by spreading misinformation that seeks to create suspicion, fear and hatred between religious communities. In this instance, a political skirmish was portrayed as a communal conflict.

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About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.