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Fact Check: An old viral video of Nilgai being buried alive resurfaces on social media

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The video is an year old and action has been taken against the people who committed the offence.

Several Twitter users have been sharing a graphic video that shows a Nilgai ( an antelope abundantly found in northern Indian regions ) being buried alive. This video is being shared criticizing the BJP government that they buried 300 Nilgai alive to control their population.

Recently, we received a request to verify the video shared by a Twitter user a few months back. The video was shared with the caption "BJP govt.  buried alive 300 Nilgai in Bihar to control their population . . and now these hypocrites are giving lecture to others on animal rights !". The video was shared in response to the outrage following the death of a 15-year-old pregnant elephant in Kerala.

On Oct 2, another Twitter user shared the video with the caption "300 Nilgai buried alive in Bihar by BJP govt. Where are the animal rights.....?!!! "

Fact Check

We decided to verify these claims because of the viral nature of the video. Firstly, we found that this video is a year old and was reported in September 2019. However, the major part of the narrative is true.

The Nilgai was reportedly injured and was pushed into a pit by a JCB machine where it died and around 300 Nilgais were shot dead at Vaishali district in Bihar following farmers complaining that they destroy their crops.

Moreover, an FIR was filed against the JCB driver and a forest guard was suspended. It has also been reported that around 495 were culled by the forest department in August and more than 500 in July. This was done by hiring a sharp shooter to shoot these Nilgais after they damaged several crops. However, action against the JCB driver and the forest guard was taken after the video of the injured Nilgai being pushed into a pit using the JCB machine and being buried alive went viral on the internet. 

As per a report by DNA, it was an initiative of Vaishali MLA Rajkishore Singh (JD(U)), and was done with the cooperation of the state government and local administration. A shooter was hired to carry out the gruesome killings to solve the problem of farmers who complain of their crops being destroyed by the nilgais.

When the video went viral, the MLA questioned the veracity of the video and termed it a "fabricated".

As soon as the information of this whole matter came in, Vaishali SP Manavjit Singh Dhillon instructed the local Bhagwanpur police station to investigate the veracity of the viral video and when its authenticity came to light, sought clarification from forest department officials to take action on the people responsible for the live burial.

In conclusion, the video is a year old and action has been taken against the people who committed the offence. Therefore, resharing the video online to make it seem like it happened recently to criticise the government is misleading. 

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