Ahead of the upcoming elections in West Bengal, RBI director and RSS ideologue S Gurumuthy shared a video of a crowd heckling members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh. Gurumurthy claimed that they were beaten by Rohingya refugees.

“Look how BJP West Bengal chief was welcomed in a Rohingya slum in the state. Think about what will happen to common citizens if this is how he is treated. This is Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal. We need freedom from this to make Bengal Sonar Bangla,” is another message shared with the video.

It is also circulating on Facebook with the same claim.

 

प्रिय बन्धुवर, प्रातः सप्रेम नमस्कार ।कृपया सन्लग्न वीडियो को ध्यान से देखें । बंगाल की एक रोहिंग्या बस्ती मे कैसा स्वागत किया गया भाजपा नेताओं का प्रदेश अध्यक्ष श्री दिलीप घोष समेत ।जब इनका यह हाल हुआ तो सामान्य नागरिकों का क्या होगा गन्भीरता से विचार करें ।इस विडिओ को इतना फैलाएं कि बंगाल के घर घर दूरदराज गाँव गांव झोपड़ी झोपड़ी तक पहुंच जाये शीघ्रातिशीघ्र।यह झलक बहुत ही बहुत ही हिला देने वाली है । जय माता जानकी जय जय प्रभू श्री राम।

Posted by लाल प्रताप सिंह राठौर on Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Chairman of Manipal Global Education Mohandas Pai tweeted the video on March 19 however without the Rohingya angle.

Recurring claim

The clip was shared with a similar message in English – “Rohingya Muslims push out Hindus from West Bengal” – last year.

It was also shared in 2019 with the following message, “Please send this video to your relatives who are residing in a poll-bound state. If our society doesn’t come out in huge numbers for Modi then these heretics, “Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslims”, will repeat this act across the country, as they did in Kolkata. There’s still some time left, wake up.”

The above caption was tweeted by a user Ananda in Hindi in April 2019. One more user by the name of ‘Hitesh‘ also tweeted the video with an identical narrative.

Many individuals on Facebook and Twitter shared this video with the same message.

Old video

Alt News found that the video circulating on social media is old and unrelated to the claim. This incident had taken place in 2017 in Darjeeling and NOT Kolkata. BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh was chased and heckled. It was reported by several media outlets, including ABP News. This clip was broadcasted by the channel in October 2017 when the incident had occurred.

A BJP delegation led by the party President had visited the city after a 104-day strike for a separate Gorkhaland was withdrawn by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Ghosh was in Darjeeling on October 5, 2017, when he was allegedly thrashed by supporters of the Gorkha Territorial Administration’s chairman Binay Tamang.

In conclusion, an unrelated video of BJP members heckled and chased away in Darjeeling in 2017 was shared as Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees assaulting them. In the past as well, Rohingya refugees residing in India have been targeted with misinformation. The video was earlier circulated as an incident where BJP members were heckled and chased away while asking for votes. It was also shared ahead of 2020 Bihar elections.

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About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.