An India Today broadcast is being shared by several individual users on social media with the narrative – “Hindu Women abducted, converted to Islam and sold for 50k rupees in Pakistan by Cops.” The video starts with the clip of a cop slapping a burqa-clad woman and proceeds to talk about how women and children belonging to Pakistan’s minority communities are abducted, sold for money and forcefully converted to Islam.

India Today’s broadcast has been shared by many others on both Twitter and Facebook thus, fetching thousands of views.

Alt News found that India Today had used the clip of a woman being thrashed by a cop as part of a 2016 reportage titled – #PakHinduSOS Watch Pak Hindu woman sold for Rs 50,000 by cop.” The media outlet was broadcasting the show on atrocities faced by Hindus in Pakistan.

While the above-attached tweet included only 3:30 minutes, India Today did a 23:28-minute long show on the topic. The clip of the woman being slapped is played throughout the length of the show. At 3:14 minutes, the cop can also be heard making statements, which India Today transcribed as – “I will do everything. Now you are in a fix. Now you can’t escape.”

India Today had also published an article on the issue.

What is the truth about the clip?

We ran the video via InVid software to break it into multiple frames. Upon reverse searching the images on Google, with the keyword ‘woman slapped by cop Pakistan’, we landed on media reports from 2015. According to an October 29 article in The Express Tribune, a woman allegedly caught stealing valuables from a shopping centre in Karachi was beaten by a man under the garb of a police uniform. The incident took place in Gulf Shopping Mall located in Clifton, and the man slapping the woman was arrested by cops.

Another report on Pakistani website The News also said that “a man dressed in a police uniform’s shirt in the video was remanded to police officials by the judicial magistrate.”

Media organisation Samaa, however, reported the incident differently. While the claim of the woman allegedly being a shoplifter was identical, Samaa reported that the man slapping her was a ‘volunteer cop’. He thrashed the woman to extort a confession out of her.

If one carefully watches the video, the man can be heard saying – “Tu kaise nahi manegi. Vo sab maani hai. Sab baramad karaya hai (How will you not confess? They all confessed. We recovered everything.)”

Similar words were reported by Pakistani media outlet Geo TV. According to their report, the man was a guard of a local company who said to the woman, “Now I will see how she does not confess to the theft and does not return the stolen items.” This was, however, not the transcription provided by India Today (mentioned earlier in the article).

The video of the above-stated incident first appeared on the internet in 2015. India Today’s reportage on atrocities faced by Pakistani Hindus was broadcasted a year later. The media outlet had included a wrong video that was played multiple times throughout their show. While there are multiple reports of forced conversions, especially from the Sindh province of Pakistan, including a 2012 instance of Manisha Kumari as mentioned in the India Today broadcast, the footage of the uniformed man hitting a woman has no connection with religious conversions.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.