Abrar Ifaz

Research Officer, Dismislab
Deceptive claims emerge in India regarding two Bangladeshi videos
This article is more than 3 months old

Deceptive claims emerge in India regarding two Bangladeshi videos

Abrar Ifaz

Research Officer, Dismislab

Recently, on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), a video has been published from multiple accounts, claiming, “innocent woman, hands tied, surrounded by a group of Muslims, being forced to recite the Kalma.” (1,2,3,4). The approximately 2-minute-long video shows a woman with bound hands, and another person intimidating her with a knife. The entire dialogue in the video is in Bengali, and several women wearing veils can also be seen present in the background. However, upon verification, it has been confirmed that the video is not associated with any religious conversion.

An X account named Shunya posted such a video on January 27. The video has already been reposted nearly 5800 times, and it has garnered approximately 677 comments. To investigate the source of the video, searches led to two fact-checking reports published by Logical Indian, an Indian fact-checking organization, and the news outlet India Today in 2019.  In other words, in 2019, the video was circulated on social media in India. The two fact-checking reports stated that although the video claims that in Bangladesh, a Hindu woman is being forced to adopt the Islam religion, the video was essentially an exorcism, not a conversion.

According to India Today’s fact-check, a longer version of this video was published by the Bangladeshi YouTube channel EM Multimedia in January 2019. The title of the video was “This is the best video of exorcism. See how a Hindu Jinn is converted to Islam.” Although the video is currently not available on YouTube, India Today’s correspondent in Bangladesh, Shahidul Khokon, has mentioned that the language spoken by the individuals in the video resembles the regional Bengali dialect, similar to that of the southeastern region of Chittagong in Bangladesh. It is noteworthy that in 2019, a similar false claim (1, 2) regarding the video was circulated on Facebook.

On January 25, another video had surfaced from the same X account that showed a Hindu woman has been tied to a tree. Simultaneously, this video gained traction on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (1,2,3,4,5,6). The video was first posted on January 25 at 10:27 PM from the said account. Upon investigating the source of the video, it was found that the first report on the incident was published by Daily Prothom Alo in April 2019. Further investigation reveals multiple posts about the incident in 2019 (1,2,3,4). This means that an old video has been reintroduced as a recent event through social media. Additionally, a report related to the incident can be found on a website named Hindu Dwesha, claiming the event occurred on January 24 of this year despite the incident dating back to 2019.

On January 22 of this year, the opening of the Ram Mandir took place in Ayodhya, India. The construction of the Ram Mandir involved the demolition of the Babri Masjid, located at the same site. This has led to prolonged communal tensions in the region for an extended period of time.