Viral: Images of ‘beheaded’ boy from village drama in Rajasthan shared as actual incident

Recently, a set of photos captioned, “कृपया शेयर करें, और अन्धविश्वास मुक्त भारत बनाने में सहयोग करें (Please share and help create a superstition-free India)”, is viral on social media. The imagery is circulated with the narrative that a young boy in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara was beheaded and offered as a sacrifice as part of a ritual. From a Facebook page impersonating journalist Abhay Dubey, the post has been shared over 2,600 times.

A video of the alleged incident is also widely circulated, with the claims viral on both Facebook and Twitter.

Boy NOT sacrificed. 

The narrative used to circulate the images is false. A statement put out by Rajasthan police on both Facebook and Twitter says – “A video of a boy sacrificed in Bhilwara, meant for entertainment purposes, is being shared by giving it a superstitious narrative on social media in order to mislead people. In reality, this a magic show which is held every year during Navratri. The drama that takes place in village Khakhla is being circulated with a false narrative. (translated)”

Bhilwara police also put out a similar statement and tweeted the image of the boy who can be seen in the viral photographs. The boy is alive and well.

The appalling narrative that almost an entire village participated in a human sacrifice should itself have raised doubts. However, social media users who shared the above post failed to put any critical thought into the issue, and progressively the narrative used to share this post became more and more provocative. In an age where there’s an explosion of information, not only is self-analysis important but governments need to play an active role in introducing curriculums that help people deal with excess information.

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