(Trigger Warning: Description of the incident, given its heinous nature, can be triggering for some readers.)
A 23-second video of a boy holding a girl at knifepoint, while people around them can be heard asking him to let go of her, is being widely circulated on several social media platforms with a communal spin.
Another 14-second video from the same incident shows the girl on the floor with her throat slit, while the boy takes out something from his pocket and consumes it. People can be heard wailing and crying in the background.
The claim goes on to identify the boy as a Muslim and states that he killed the girl as she 'refused to convert to Islam.'
However, the incident, which happened on the outskirts of Surat on 12 February, isn't a communal one – as is being projected. The boy, who has been identified as one Fenil Goyani (22), reportedly killed Grishma Vekariya (21) in front of her family.
Several news reports mention that the boy was irked as the girl refused to be in a relationship with him. However, the police told us that the matter is still under investigation and they are interrogating him to know the reason behind the murder.
Speaking to The Quint, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Surat, BK Vanar also said that the "matter isn't communal in nature and both of them belong to the Patel community".
He added that it is a heinous crime and the police is treating it as a "rarest of the rare cases."
The claim shared along with the video, reads originally in Hindi: "सूरत में हिंदू लड़की ने मुसलमान बनने से मना कर दिया तो दो कट्टरपंथी मुसलमान ने लड़की को मार डाला."
(Translation: A Hindu girl refused to convert to Islam in Surat so this Muslim man killed her.)
(Warning: We have refrained from including any links to the video due to the distressing nature of the visuals.
The video is being massively circulated on several social media platforms.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We divided the video into multiple keyframes using InVid, a Google Chrome extension, and conducted a reverse image search on the first frame of the video.
This led us to a report by The Times of India, published on 13 February. The report carried the video and mentioned that the incident happened in Pasodara, on the outskirts of Gujarat.
It also mentioned the names of the accused (Fenil Goyani) and the victim (Grishma Vekariya). Taking this as a cue, we looked for more details of the incident and found news articles published on NDTV, The Times of India, The Indian Express.
These news reports noted that the boy was enraged as the girl refused her proposal.
The incident happened in the evening on Saturday, 13 February, when Goyani was confronted by the victim's uncle, who was then stabbed in the abdomen.
When the girl and her brother rushed out, he held her at knifepoint and later slit her throat.
Speaking to The Quint, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Surat, BK Vanar said that it is a "pre-planned brutal murder" and that he is currently in police remand.
Squashing the communal rumours, he said that both of them belong to the same community and even the same caste.
"The boy is in police remand and we are interrogating the accused to know if anybody else was involved in it."BK Vanar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Surat
The boy has been booked under IPC Section 302 (Punishment for murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
Clearly, an incident that happened in Surat is being given a false communal colour with no facts backing it.