Fact Check: A man was thrashed for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram

Reported on 2019-06-22 15:45:06.0 by Neel Kamal

Rumour

A Twitter user Zainab Sikander who calls herself a political observer and writer shared a video in which a skull-capped man is being forced by someone sitting in a car to say "Jai Shri Ram".

She shared the video with a message "New India and its heavy dose of Sabka Vishwas".

The same video was earlier tweeted by an Instagram handle @unofficialkunalkamra with a long message claiming India has become worse than Saudi Arabia. You can watch the video here:

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Our Investigation

We searched for news related to it and found an article of NDTV dated June 21, 2019. As per the article, a group of men claiming to be members of the right-wing group stopped an autorickshaw in Barpeta town and beat up the people travelling in it. The victims were then forced to utter slogans like "Jai Shri Ram", "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and "Pakistan Murdabad".

Two FIRs were filed against the right-wing organisation and its founder by the All Assam Minority Students'' Union (AAMSU) and the North-East Minorities Students' Union (NEMSU) as reported by NDTV.

We found another incident which was tweeted by ANI on 21st June. The tweet reads:

Mohammad Momin who was injured after he was allegedly hit by a car in Rohini Sector 20 yesterday, says,"some people sitting inside the car asked me to say 'Jai shree ram' but I avoided them. They then verbally abused me&hit me with the car which has caused these injuries."

SD Mishra, DCP Rohini said, We have registered an FIR of the accident. However, Mohammad Momin has claimed that three boys who were in a white car had asked him to say some religious word when he refused, they hit him. Now we are verifying this allegation. CCTV footage will be examined.

Update: In an update of this case, police have said that the accounts given by some eyewitnesses of the incident do not substantiate the claims made by the victim that he was hit for refusing to chant "Jai Shri Ram". Accused haven't been identified but the investigation is underway. 

However, the video tweeted by Zainab Sikandar is not from any of these two incidents. We used invid chrome extension to extract the key frames of the video and did a reverse image search on the web. We found that this video was first uploaded on 5th May 2017 on Youtube by a user Anuj Khan.

We also found that this video has been uploaded by many other users on Youtube. Rohit Singh uploaded this video on 12th May 2017. Another pro-right-wing user shared this video on 4th Dec with a communal message. 

Rustom Ali and Fardeen Mondo uploaded the video on 31st May 2019.

Since we could trace 5th May 2017, the incident must have happened before that which clearly establish that this video is not from any of the recently reported incidents.

We couldn't find any other details about the video or location of the incident. So, it is difficult to explain why anyone will beat someone for refusing to chant Jai Shree Ram. But again we can't rule this out because we came across another similar incident of Rajasthan when a Muslim man was beaten for refusing to say Jai Shri Ram in Feb 2018. It was reported by India Today.

Ever since the victory of the NDA government, a section of social media has tried to show how hate crime has increased against the minorities. Earlier, we had debunked six instances when the accusation of being forced to raise religious slogans was either proven wrong or remain unverified.

You can read our detailed article here:

Minorities in India bear the brunt of post-election hate crimes: An attempt of fake narrative by the ecosystem

Fact

The video tweeted by Zainab Sikander is two years old. However, we could find at least two incidents from last week where victims have claimed that they were beaten for refusing to chant "Jai Shri Ram". But police is yet to verify the claim.

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