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Truth behind the viral video of Nepali man getting his head tonsured

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Summary

According to police, a Nepali-speaking man who was allegedly tonsured and forced to chant anti-Nepal slogans in a video made by members of a fringe group in Varanasi has turned out to be an Indian national who was paid ?1,000 to play his part.

Recently, a video that was widely circulated on social media platforms has created a storm across the nation, in which a Nepali man was being tonsured and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

Days after Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli claimed that Lord Ram was born in Nepal and the real Ayodhya was situated near Kathmandu, the disturbing video appeared on the internet and was shared by many users blaming ‘Hindu outfits’ for the incident. 

Ashok Swain shared an article published by Clarion India according to which, "Members of the Vishwa Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing extremist group, shaved off the head of a Nepalese citizen and forced him to chant ‘Oli Down Down’ (Oli Murdabad) and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ near Rajendra Prasad Ganga ghat of the Bhelupur police station in Varanasi." While sharing the article, Swain wrote, "Does Hindu Fanatics in India know that Nepalis are also Hindus? "

Alt News co-founder, Mohammad Zubair also shared the video saying, "One more video of so-called fringe elements shaving his head."

You can watch the video here:

According to policeArun Pathak, convenor of Vishwa Hindu Sena, is behind the act. A look at Pathak's Facebook profile reveals that he describes himself as a “disciple of Bala Saheb Thackeray”.

As more details emerged regarding the matter, it is now revealed that the 'Nepali' man in question is an Indian citizen. Varanasi Police in a statement said that six people have been arrested over the matter. The six arrested in the case are Santosh Pandey, Ashish Mishra, Raju Yadav, Amit Dubey, Rajesh Rajbhar, and Jay Ganesh Sharma.

Moreover, now reports have confirmed that the whole incident was a pre-planned act. As per reports, the man who was presented as a Nepali-youth is Dharmendra Singh. Reportedly, he used to work at a Saree Store and was unemployed for the last four months. Singh was contacted by Arun Pathak’s men on 16th July and was told that his services are required for a couple of hours at Ganga Ghat. He was told that there is some event where he would have to tonsure his head and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. For his services, he would be given Rs 1000.

A journalist with the Times of India, Raj Shekhar shared the statement issued by Varanasi Police that says that the person whose head was tonsured lives in a govt quarter of the Water Resource Department in Bhelpur in Varanasi. Both his parents used to work in the department, and now his brother is an employee of the department. The police also stated that his family and his forefathers had no connection with Nepal and that Singh knows Arun Pathak, Rajesh Rajbhar, and Jay Ganesh.

The video of the incident went viral amid the ongoing tension between Nepal and India. In the video, one can see Singh sitting near a river and purportedly being forced to shout slogans against Nepal and its PM Oli. He is also made to praise India for providing “livelihood opportunities to Nepal nationals.” Following the incident, the Nepal embassy had raised the issue with Indian authorities, at the state and central levels.

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