Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab
Viral Video of Tying Groom & Father Over Dowry Claim Exposed as Staged
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Viral Video of Tying Groom & Father Over Dowry Claim Exposed as Staged

Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab

The viral video showing villagers tying up a groom and his father from behind after demanding a dowry has turned out to be staged. Actually, the video has been making rounds on various Facebook pages, groups, and personal profiles for the past few days. It even made its way onto the verified page of Daily Ittefaq, with the caption: ‘The groom and his father were bound with ropes by the bride’s family after demanding dowry.’

Using reverse image search the original video was found on the Facebook page called “Way to Jannah”. On April 12, a reel was shared on the same page, matching the circulated footage. Analysis of the “Way to Jannah” page revealed that its administrators create and distribute various types of videos for entertainment purposes. Moreover, individuals resembling the father of the alleged groom and the man attempting to assault him in the viral footage were identified in other videos on the page, albeit in different roles and scenarios.

The staged video quickly gained credibility, especially after a mainstream media outlet Ittefaq shared it from their official Facebook pages. At the time of composing this verification report, around two thousand users have passed on the reel posted by the Daily Ittefaq page, amassing over one lakh reactions and thousands of comments from users. Notably, Ittefaq’s reel has been further distributed from various Facebook pages (1, 2)and personal profiles (1, 2).

In the video, a voiceover claims that the groom’s family initially held back from asking for dowry, but during the wedding ceremony (kabin), the groom’s father brought up the topic of a vehicle. The footage shows two men visibly tied up, identified as the groom and his father. Towards the end of the video, a man can be heard yelling.

Although the original video was crafted for entertainment purposes, the creators never explicitly stated this in any ‘intro’ or ‘outro’ at the beginning or end of the video. The producers of the video did not disclose this fact within the video itself or in the accompanying post.

Consequently, the staged video has been circulated widely by numerous Facebook groups (1, 2, 3), pages (1, 2, 3), and profiles(1, 2, 3), with many assuming it to be a real incident. Several Facebook posts(1, 2, 3) even claimed that the video was filmed in a village in the Khansama upazila of the Dinajpur district, despite lacking any evidence. Similar videos can also be found on YouTube(1, 2, 3

Way to Jannah Page Analysis

On April 12th, at 12:20 pm, a Facebook reel emerged, depicting the alleged groom and his father being restrained. An enraged man charged towards the alleged groom and started beating him.

At 1:02 pm on April 12th, another Facebook reel from the same page surfaced, showcasing the alleged groom and his father being bound. An elderly man standing nearby, likely portraying the girl’s father, addressed the onlookers: ‘There was no talk about dowry. But today, during the kabin, the groom’s father demands: ‘Give me a vehicle.’ I’m a poor man, my son, how can I afford a vehicle? I can’t.’

On April 17th, at 11:23 am, the page went live. The individual previously seen scowling at the alleged groom and the groom’s father in the previous video is now observed preparing for the shoot. He addressed the audience: ‘Here, I’m setting up the wedding entry gate. We’re bringing for you fun. Enjoy and please like, share, and comment as you watch our show.'”

On April 17th at 2:23 PM, it was observed that in the video from April 12th, the individual portraying the groom’s father is similarly bound. The same person who appeared in the Facebook Live session three hours prior, declaring, ‘Here, I’m setting up the wedding entry gate. We’re bringing you entertainment,’ is now seen pretending to assault the restrained man. Verification confirms that the individual portraying the ‘father of the groom’ in the viral video and the ‘father of the groom’ in the April 17th video are indeed the same person. Both characters were dressed identically. The individual who announced the creation of the entertainment video during the Live session was identified in both videos, where he assumed the role of the aggressor.

Several viewers expressed doubts about the video in the comments section. One commenter wrote, ‘This video depicts the boy’s father being tied up as they demanded dowry. The video from the girl’s side is only 19 seconds long. I’ve asked many people about the incident’s location, but no one seems to know. They’re just sharing!!!’

This Facebook page, “Way to Jannah”,  was created on February 17th and has garnered 397 likes and 32 thousand followers. In recent weeks, they have uploaded numerous additional staged videos. Another staged video, posted on April 18th in the afternoon, portrays the alleged groom’s father being bound alongside a woman, this time accused of adultery. However, the page description does not explicitly state that they produce videos intended for entertainment.