Safi Mallick, a Facebook user who identifies as Nadia District Congress Media Coordinator, shared a video of a man hounded by a mob. The accompanying caption in Bengali claimed that a Muslim man was tortured by goons of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the lockdown in Madhya Pradesh.
মধ্যপ্রদেশে লক ডাউনের নামে বিজেপির গুন্ডা বাহিনী এক মুসলিম যুবকে কেমন ভাবে অত্যাচার করছে দেখুন ।।
Posted by Safi Mallick on Saturday, 18 April 2020
The Bengali text is as follows, “মধ্যপ্রদেশে লক ডাউনের নামে বিজেপির গুন্ডা বাহিনী এক মুসলিম যুবকে কেমন ভাবে অত্যাচার করছে দেখুন ।।” Another page named Save India has also shared the clip with the same claim.
A reverse-search of one of the keyframes of the video led us to an April 18 tweet by NDTV journalist Anurag Dwary which carried the same video. “Sanitation workers attacked in MP,” he wrote in Hindi.
— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) April 18, 2020
According to an NDTV report. “A group of sanitation workers in Madhya Pradesh were attacked by a mob of locals in Dewas district on Friday [April 17] when they went to a neighbourhood to clean the streets. One of them, who was attacked with an axe, has been admitted to hospital after his hand was badly injured. The shocking attack comes weeks after similar incidents in the state in which healthcare workers and civic officials were attacked locals when they went to screen residents for coronavirus.”
The report also states that the main accused is Adil who attacked Deepak and his colleagues with an axe.
The Indian Express quoted the police as saying, “The incident took place early Friday when Ashish Rajaur and Deepak Kalosia, sanitation workers attached with the local civic body, were cleaning a gutter in Koyala Mohalla. Alleging that the cleaning operation was spreading stench in the locality, Aadil allegedly attacked Ashish but he defended himself with a spade.” The report added the names of the other accused – Habib and Aarif. India Today identified the fourth accused as Gop Khan. “During interrogation, Aadil claimed that he indulged in violence as Gop Khan had told them that since the lockdown, namaazees and followers of the Tablighi Jamaat were hounded by government workers, the ASP said,” reads the India Today report.
A similar incident had occurred in Indore where a 30-year-old history-sheeter, Paras Bourasi, allegedly attacked three health workers, including a woman.
A video of sanitation workers attacked in Madhya Pradesh was therefore shared as a Muslim youth attacked by goons of the BJP.