A video of a man standing next to a child explaining a purported incident of an attempt to kidnap the boy is being shared on social media. The video is circulating on social media with a narrative about a child-lifting gang. The narrative propagated with this video claims that a gang of organ traders was arrested in Larankelo, Himachal Pradesh. The message stated that the members of the arrested gang have revealed that they are a group of 500 people who prowl in groups of 15-20 people that includes women and children. The message further urges people to not open their doors if they hear a baby cry at midnight. The message attempts to alert the cities – Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukesta Karnal and Panipat – located in Haryana. Alt News had received a request to fact-check the video on its official WhatsApp number.

The most commonly shared message with the aforementioned narrative reads as follows – “अलर्ट Ambala, Yamunanagar, kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat ख़ासकर घरेलू महिलाओं से अनुरोध है किसी भी अजनबी जैसे कबाड़ी वाला फेरी वाला बाबा या कोई भिखारी कोई भी हो उसके लिए दरवाज़ा ना खोले ना ही कोई बात करे बस हल्ला करके भगा दें। ग़लती से भी ये शब्द ना कहे । “अभी घर में कोई नही है बाद में आना या चले जाओ “ घर में अगर कुत्ता है तो उसे खोल दो उसी टाइम और मेन गेट मत खोलो। अपना और अपने बच्चे का ध्यान रखिए । सतर्क रहें। सुरक्षित रहें । Larankello से आज खबर मिली है की भिखारी के बेस में पांच सौ लोग निकले है जो रास्ते में जो मिलता है उसको काटकर कलेजे अौर कीडनी निकाल रहे है जिसमे से छः सात लोग पकड़े गाए है .जो पकडे़ गए हैं वही लोग को कडी़ पुछताच के बाद पांच सौ लोग आने की बात कबुल की है इसलिए हमारे भाईयों मेसेज को आपके जितने परिवार और मेंबर है सबको फाॅरवर्ड कीजिए: कृप्या सावधान रहे 15 से 20 लोगों की टोली आई है उनके साथ बच्चे और महीलांए हैं और उनके पास हथियार भी हैं और और आधी रात को किसी भी वक्त आते हैं और बच्चे के रोने की आवाज आती है कृपया दरवाजा ना खोले प्लीज ज्यादा से ज्यादा ग्रुप में से शेयर करें पूरे एरिया में 2 से 3 दिन के अंदर फेल जाना चाहिए। अपनी सूरक्षा अपने हाथ, सावधान रहे, जनहित मे जारी “

One Facebook user posted the same video with an identical message.

 

अलर्ट Ambala, Yamunanagar, kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat
ख़ासकर घरेलू महिलाओं से अनुरोध है किसी भी अजनबी जैसे कबाड़ी वाला फेरी वाला बाबा या कोई भिखारी कोई भी हो उसके लिए दरवाज़ा ना खोले

ना ही कोई बात करे बस हल्ला करके भगा दें।

ग़लती से भी ये शब्द ना कहे ।
“अभी घर में कोई नही है बाद में आना या
चले जाओ “

घर में अगर कुत्ता है तो उसे खोल दो उसी टाइम और मेन गेट मत खोलो ।

अपना और अपने बच्चे का ध्यान रखिए ।
सतर्क रहें। सुरक्षित रहें ।
Larankello से आज खबर मिली है की भिखारी के बेस में पांच सौ लोग निकले है जो रास्ते में जो मिलता है उसको काटकर कलेजे अौर कीडनी निकाल रहे है जिसमे से छः सात लोग पकड़े गाए है .जो पकडे़ गए हैं वही लोग को कडी़ पुछताच के बाद पांच सौ लोग आने की बात कबुल की है इसलिए हमारे भाईयों मेसेज को आपके जितने परिवार और मेंबर है सबको फाॅरवर्ड कीजिए: कृप्या सावधान रहे 15 से 20 लोगों की टोली आई है उनके साथ बच्चे और महीलांए हैं और उनके पास हथियार भी हैं और और आधी रात को किसी भी वक्त आते हैं और बच्चे के रोने की आवाज आती है कृपया दरवाजा ना खोले प्लीज ज्यादा से ज्यादा ग्रुप में से शेयर करें पूरे एरिया में 2 से 3 दिन के अंदर फेल जाना चाहिए। अपनी सूरक्षा अपने हाथ, सावधान रहे, जनहित मे जारी🙏🏼

Posted by K.S. Tyagi on Thursday, 25 July 2019

In the video, the man who claims to be the father of the child said that there was an attempt to abduct his child. “Everyone should be made aware of this incident. This has happened to me today. So that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. I have filed a report with the police. Police officials have come for an inspection. Please spread this, so that any untoward incident with anyone’s child doesn’t take place. The kind of incident that took place with me but my child is safe now. Thank you.”, says the man facing the camera.

An extended version of the same video is also circulating on social media with a claim that this gang of 500 to 2000 people are Rohingya Muslims. The message gives the impression that it was circulated by the police, when it says, “Bhopal Police City Superintendent of Police [C.S.P]”.

FACT-CHECK

Alt News broke the video into multiple key-frames using the digital verification tool Invid. We then performed a reverse search on one of the keyframes through which we found one of the earliest instances of the video uploaded on the Internet. A YouTube user Mayur Suratwala had uploaded the viral video on July 19, 2019. The user had posted one more video of the same incident from a different time-frame.

In the video posted above, the man can be heard saying that this is his child from “Indus Realty”. He further adds that he studies at Oriental school. On Google searching – “Indus Realty” – we found that the said housing project is located in Mandideep town of Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh.

Alt News contacted Mandideep police station to check whether the said incident took place in their jurisdiction. We were informed that the video depicts an incident that took place in an area that falls under the jurisdiction of Satlapur police station.

We then got in touch with officials at Satlapur police station. SHO Piyush Charles told Alt News, “It’s an old incident. It took place nearly 10-15 days back. We verified the boy’s claim and found it to be implausible. The boy said that he had sensed someone coming towards him in the dark while he was going home from the path behind the buildings where he resides. According to the boy, sensing someone coming towards him, he took out his belt to scare him away. The boy also claimed that this person then ran away jumping a 6ft grill with extra fencing. We tried to verify his version and found that there were no footprints at the site and also there was no way anybody could jump that wall [grill]. No FIR was filed in the matter because it was totally implausible.”

In conclusion, a video of a man who claimed that there was an attempt to kidnap his child in Madhya Pradesh was used by social media users to induce fear-mongering with regard to recent and on-going child-lifting rumours. It may be noted that the police has maintained that the incident couldn’t have happened. Earlier, a video of a mentally-challenged person, who was taken hostage by the villagers in Raisen district, MP, was falsely shared as that of a child-lifter caught in the state. Alt News has also debunked a recent video of a drunk woman who was falsely accused of being child-kidnapper.

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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.