[Disclaimer: The video that is the subject of the story exhibits violence and can be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Last week, unrestrained police brutality was reported during an eviction drive at the Sipajhar area in Assam’s Darrang district. The incident left two dead including a minor boy. Most people who were forcefully evicted from the area hail from the Bengali Muslim community. A horrifying video of a government-appointed photographer stomping on the motionless body of a protestor surfaced on social media.

Against this backdrop. a 30-second video that also shows a man stomping on the body of a person lying on the ground has been widely shared. Towards the end, the video shows the dead bodies of a man and woman.

Twitter user @ShiningSadaf who identifies as a Pakistani shared the video as the oppression of Muslims in Assam.

Another user Ziyad Ayyoub made the same claim in Arabic.

This has been shared by many on Twitter and Facebook along with the identical claim in Arabic (1, 2) and English (1, 2).

Old, unrelated video

Alt News performed a reverse image search using the video verification tool InVid and found that the video was uploaded on YouTube in 2011. The description states that the incident is from Bihar’s Forbesganj area which is about 350 km from Patna. Four protestors were killed by police on June 3, 2011.

Two Circles reported in 2011, “On 3rd June 2011, residents of Rampur and Bhajanpur villages under Forbesganj block in Araria district came out, after Juma Prayer, to protest against the blockade of the connecting road between the two villages for a factory. The police not only opened fire on the protestors but chased them to their homes, entered in and killed even women and infant point-blank. Six people including two women and a six-month-old infant of the two villages of 90% Muslim population were killed. While the state government claims that four people were killed, TwoCircles.net has got a video of the bodies of all six victims including the infant.”

This incident was reported by The Hindu, The Indian Express, and CNN IBN. In 2015, The Wire published a follow-up story speaking to the family members of the victims.

To conclude, a decade-old incident of police brutality on the Muslim community in Bihar was shared with the false claim that it shows the recent police excess in Assam.

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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.