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Fact-Check: Incident of a Fight in Bus in Kerala Given a False Communal Spin

Police officials confirmed that the spat was over a bus not halting at a stop and there was no communal angle to it.

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A video showing an argument between several burqa-clad women and a woman dressed in a saree is being shared on social media platforms. The video shows both parties speaking in Malayalam and shouting at each other.

What are the users saying?: Users have shared the video with the claim that Muslim women harassed a Hindu woman for boarding the bus without a burqa in Kerala.

Police officials confirmed that the spat was over a bus not halting at a stop and there was no communal angle to it.

An archive of the post can be found here

(Source: X/Screenshot) 

This post by X (formerly Twitter) user Amy Mek was viewed over 12 lakh times at the time of writing this report.

(Archives of similar claims can be found here, here and here.)

Is it true?: The viral claim is false.

  • Police officials and a person on the bus confirmed to The Quint that an argument took place over a bus stop.

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  • The burqa-clad women are students of Khansa Women's College in Kasargod, Kerala who were protesting for buses to halt at the bus stop outside their college, as buses usually stopped a little further from the designated stop.

  • The woman in the saree argued with the students for creating a ruckus.

How did we find out?: With a relevant keyword search, we came across a news report by The News Minute about this incident.

  • It mentioned that the altercation took place between the students of the Khansa Women's College in Kasargod and the woman in the saree over private buses not stopping in front of a college's bus stop.

  • The Quint reached out to one of the students who was present on the bus during the incident.

Student's statement: Mariyam Nahifa, chairperson of the college union told The Quint that the fight was over the private bus not stopping at the newly built bus stop in front of the college.

"Some students of the college stood in front of the bus and protested for the buses to stop. The lady got into an argument with the students for creating a ruckus. She also abused us."
Mariyam Nahifa, Chairperson, Khansa Women's College Union
  • She added that all this happened because there was no bus stop 'near' the college and students had to walk to reach the nearest stop.

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  • They requested the college to look into the situation who in turn requested the panchayat for a new stop. A new bus stop was built but, buses would not halt at the new stop in front of the college.

Police's account of the incident: We also reached out to the local police the Kumbla Police Station, whose SHO Anoob Kumar E corroborated Nahifa's story and denied any communal angle to the incident.

  • Speaking to The Quint, he mentioned that the incident happened on 28 October.

  • He said that the burqa-clad women were students of Khansa Women’s College and were protesting against the bus driver for not stopping in front of their college’s designated bus stop.

  • The bus did not halt at the college’s newly constructed stop as it does not have the Regional Transport Office (RTO) permission, he added.

  • The saree lady was opposing the students' protest against the bus driver.

  • Kasargod Cyber Cell has registered a case against persons and groups for spreading misinformation on social media in this matter.

Case registered for misinformation: An official at the Kasargod Cyber Cell confirmed to us that the police took suo moto cognizance and filed the First Information Report (FIR) under Indian Penal Code Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) against X user, @AmyMek.

  • We accessed a copy of this FIR and saw that it was registered on 27 October, the same day that the post was shared.

  • An archive of AmyMek's post can be found here.

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Conclusion: It is clear that there is no communal angle in the video. The argument between the lady and the students took place over the bus route.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Communal   Kerala   Webqoof 

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