Viral video claims one ‘Mohammed Ilyas’ arrested for Kathua incident; What’s the truth?

A video has been circulated widely on social media, in which a person is seen handcuffed and escorted by policemen. The message along with this video claims that a person called Mohammed Ilyas has been arrested and is one of the accused in the rape and murder of the 8-year old girl in Kathua, Jammu in January.

As can be seen in the video posted above, the man is being escorted by a posse of policemen. His face is blackened by bystanders and he is also slapped by a woman. The claim that he is one of the accused in the horrific rape and murder case of Kathua is viral across different platforms on social media.

What is the truth?

Alt News fact checked this claim and found that it is NOT related to the Kathua rape and murder case. The video posted below was uploaded by News Nation on April 05, 2018 and it states that the incident occurred in Uttar Pradesh where a youth accused of raping a 13-year old girl was beaten up in the presence of policemen.

Interestingly, another article from Dainik Bhaskar dated April 20, 2018 reported about the incident in the ‘Union Territory’ section, referring to Chandigarh. The headline read, ‘Rape accused’s face blackened, beaten with slippers, video viral’ (translated).

Since two different sources ascribed two different locations to the video, we decided to investigate further. From the visual cues in the clip, we found that the video is probably from Madhya Pradesh. This inference was arrived at through two clues- the insignia on the policeman’s uniform and the number plate of the police vehicle. As can be seen from the image below, the insignia of ‘MP Police’ is visible on the shoulder of the policeman. The number of the vehicle is MP 02 3431.

We also spotted signboards in the video. One of them read what seemed like ‘Arshi Kendra Hanumangarh or (Hanumanganj)’. Another signboard that we spotted in the video read what seemed like ‘Fani Trading Company’.

However, the above information wasn’t enough to determine the exact time and location of the above video. We posted a slowed down version of the video on Facebook and sought information from the public with regard to the origin of the video. Some users on Facebook pointed out that the incident is from Hanumanganj area of Bhopal.

Based on these clues, we zeroed in on Bhopal. The incident had occurred in the Hanumanganj area of the city. Alt News spoke to Sudhesh Tiwari, Town Inspector (SHO) at Hanumanganj police station in Bhopal. He confirmed, “This video is from here. He has been accused of raping a 13-year old girl. We were taking him to court when people blackened his face and women beat him up as an expression of public anger. He was accused of raping a 13-year old girl due to which he was assaulted by the people.”

Later, we found that this incident had also been reported accurately by on April 6, 2018. According to the report, the accused is from Uttar Pradesh.

The video is being shared extensively on Facebook where it has been uploaded by popular pages. Individual users too have shared the video with identical textual description which suggests that it is circulating on WhatsApp. This video was shared on a group called अगर आप राजपूत है तो join कीजिये ये ग्रुप, देखते हैं FB पर कितने राजपूत है with over 16,00,000 members and it has been shared more than 20000 times. A person called Gobinda Das also shared it and his post was shared more than 19000 times.

In the aftermath of the Kathua rape and murder case and the resultant public anger, there has been a flurry of fake news about the incident on social media. In this instance, a video from Madhya Pradesh was passed off as that of the Kathua rape accused. The video has been shared thousands of times and is still circulating on various social media platforms.

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