A video from Aligarh showing a boy having a conversation about Hindus, Muslims and Islam with another person has gone viral on social media. In the video, the boy on the cycle, who claims to be a Muslim, is seen promoting Islam and encouraging religious conversion.
A journalists working with television channel Sudarshan News, which has been called out for promoting communal enmity and disinformation, shared the video as "proof" of religious conversion in the state. The video was also shared by the UP Twitter handle of the channel.
However, we found that both the boys in the video belonged to the Hindu community. The Quint spoke with circle officer Raghvendra Kumar, who told us that both the people in the viral video were minors and belonged to the same religion.
Sudarshan News journalist Rajat Mishra, while sharing the video, said, "धर्मान्तरण के लिए कैसे होता है ब्रेनवाश.. देखिये सबूत.. नाबालिग लड़के के भविष्य को देखते हुए हम उसका चेहरा नही दिखा रहे है। वीडियो हरिगढ़ (अलीगढ़) का है।"
[Translation: How people are brainwashed for conversion.. see the proof.. Looking at the future of the minor boy, we are not showing his face. The video is from Harigarh (Aligarh)]
In the 2:20-long video going viral, the boy talks about what will happen if Hindus don't convert. At one point in the video, the boy is seen saying the Muslim community will rise again after the Samajwadi Party comes to power.
We also found a longer 2 minute 50 second video being shared by people on Telegram.
WHAT WE FOUND
In the replies to the tweets carrying the viral video, we found a tweet by the Aligarh Police's official handle. In their response, Aligarh police said that both the boys having the conversation were minors and belonged to the same community.
The Quint then contacted circle officer Raghvendra Kumar, who told us that the boy on the cycle and the person shooting the video were both Hindus.
A Times of India report, published on 29 September also identified the two boys as Hindus and mentioned that an FIR was registered on the complaint of a local BJP member, Ram Gopal, under IPC 505 (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes), which is a non-bailable offence.
However, Kumar clarified to us that after investigating the matter, it was found that the boys were minors and hence arrests were not made.
TOI also spoke with the uncle of one of the boys, who is a BJP member from Hathras. He told the publication that the boys were having a "friendly debate" and "didn't mean any harm".
Evidently, a video from Aligarh showing two people discussing Islam, Hindus and Muslims has gone viral with a misleading claim that it shows "proof" of how people are brainwashed in converting.