Since the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Modi on March 24, several reports of excessive police force used on curfew violators began pouring in. A video in now viral on social media which shows a group of Muslim men performing a punishment called “murga” in Hindi where a person is made to squat, hold their ears and hop like a chicken. In the video, a person with a stick can be seen giving instructing to the group of people.

Alt News has received several requests to fact-check the images on WhatsApp (+91 76000 11160) and on our official Android application.

street bandOn March 30, a Twitter user posted the viral video and mockingly said, “Look what corona has done to the owners of Lal Qila, Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar (Translated from लालकिला ताजमहल कुतुबमीनार के मालिकों की क्या हालत कर दी इस कोरोना ने)” (archive link). Some users also left lewd remarks targeting the Muslim community while reacting to the video (archive link).

The clip has also been shared on Facebook.

ajay shehrawat

Video from Pakistan

The incident is not from India but from Pakistan. We found the same via a Google reverse images search of a keyframe of the video. On March 28, a Facebook ‘War Against to Coronavirus’ posted two videos of the incident and wrote, “Manshara Police Zindabad Section 144.”

mansehra police zindabad Section 144

Posted by War Against to Corona virus on Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Pakistani Twitter user had posted the viral video on March 29 and tagged several prominent handles including the police. Manshara Police responded to his tweet and wrote, “DIG Hazara and DPO Manashara have already taken notice of this incident and asked Ainda to desist from giving such punishments in any police station. The inquiry is going on, will warn you soon (translated from Hindi).”

Thus a video of Pakistan has been circulating on the Indian social media ecosystem with the false claim that members of the Muslim community were punished by the police for flouting coronavirus lockdown.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.