A video of a crowd surrounding a man, shaving off his facial hair including his eyebrows, is circulating on social media. It is being claimed that locals caught the man, who is a Maulvi, raping a 5-year-old. Following is the claim in Hindi — “मौलवी को पांच साल की बच्ची के साथ बलात्कार करते पकड़ा गया। पड़ोसीयो ने इसकी दाढ़ी और भौंहें मुंड़वा दी हैं.”
Facebook user Ashish Mehta who identifies as a member of BJP social media team shared the video, gathering close to 7 lakh views and 16,000 shares (archive).
मौलवी को पांच साल की बच्ची के साथ बलात्कार करते पकड़ा गया। पड़ोसीयो ने इसकी दाढ़ी और भौंहें मुंड़वा दी हैं
Posted by Ashish Mehta on Thursday, 21 May 2020
Most people commenting on the video expressed a desire for harsher punishment. The video has also been shared on Twitter. Below is a reply where a person says that the man should be booked under POCSO Act, child protection law in India, suggesting that the incident took place in the country.
Let police file a case against this monster under POCSO Act. Public should not change his look. Otherwise there will be a problem with the victim to identify him. Punishment under POCSO is very severe. Let law handle him instead of providing him with an escape route like this.
— Ajay Kumar (@AjayKum33330695) May 22, 2020
Video from Pakistan
Searching for the same message on Twitter led us to tweets by several Indian users who posted the video. Below is a tweet where a user, same as many others, reshared the video tweeted by Ahmad Waqass Goraya, a Pakistani activist and blogger in forced exile.
Goraya had tweeted the video on May 21 with the same claim in Urdu.
مولوی پانچ سال کی بچی کے ساتھ زیادتی کرتا پکڑا گیا تھا۔ اہل محلہ نے داڑھی اور بھنویں مونڈ دیں pic.twitter.com/fvshcszaZn
— Ahmad Waqass Goraya (@AWGoraya) May 21, 2020
He had also retweeted the same video tweeted by Tribal News Network, a platform that provides news from tribal areas of Pakistan. It claimed that the incident occurred in Lahore.
An enraged mob shaved beard and eyebrows of a man was caught red handed while molesting a five year old girl in Lahore. pic.twitter.com/psSKeqpM11
— Tribal News Network (@TNNEnglish) May 21, 2020
A few Indians who shared the video on Twitter were aware that the incident is from Pakistan. While most people asked for harsher punishment, one Akash Goyal wrote that this is the only punishment given in Pakistan.
पाकिस्तान में इतनी ही सजा मिलती है
— Akash GOYAL 100% FB (Stay Home🏡 Stay Safe🙋♂) (@Real__Akash) May 21, 2020
However, based on media reports, police action was taken against the accused. Pakistani website siasat.pk shared a copy of the FIR filed against the man in Kot Lakhpat police station in Pakistan’s Punjab. According to the FIR, Altaf Hussain was booked for molestation of minors on the street.
The video was also shared by Pakistani journalist Sarfraz Ali.
پانچ سالہ بچی سے زیادتی کے ملزم کو صرف داڑھی اور مونچھیں مونڈ کر چھوڑ دینا کہاں کا انصاف ہے، اس بڑے جرم میں یہ سارے محلے والے بھی شامل ہیں۔ آئی جی پنجاب کو نوٹس لے کر ان سب کے خلاف ایف آئی آر درج کرنی چاہیے. @SHABAZGIL @MianDawood @ChShoaibSaleem pic.twitter.com/ZTTORuQVZQ
— Sarfraz Ali (@ItsSarfrazAli) May 21, 2020
Thus a video of locals in Lahore shaving off a man’s beard and eyebrows for molesting children has been picked up on Indian social media ecosystem.
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