Mevani Shares Clip of Kid Being Beaten In Syria As From Valsad
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani took to Twitter to share a gruesome video of a child being beaten, with the claim that the video was supposedly from RM VM school in the state's Valsad district.
The tweet contains a graphic video and an archived version can be accessed here.
Captioned 'Barbarism of worst form', the tweet read: “आप के whatsapp पे जितने भी नंबर एवं ग्रुप हैं एक भी छूटने नही चाहिए, ये वीडियो सबको भेजिए ये वलसाड के RM VM SCHOOL का टीचर है इसको इतना शेयर करो की ये टीचर और स्कूल दोनों बंद हो जाए”. (Translated: Forward to as many contacts as possible on your WhatsApp, this video shows a teacher from Valsad’s RM VM school. Share it so much that both the teacher and the school are closed down.)
Mevani said he received the video on WhatsApp and had also tagged the official handle of the prime minister's office in the tweet.
The video had over 12K views at the time this article was written, and had been retweeted close to 730 times.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The video is not from Valsad, as claimed by Mevani, but from Syria's Daraa city, our investigation shows.
Meanwhile, Mevani tweeted a second time, seeking clarification on whether the video was from Valsad or Egypt, as was being claimed on Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A keyframe search on the InVid software led to a blogpost on the website horanfree.com, published on 26 February 2018.
The article claimed that the video was from Giza in Daraa, and showed a nine-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and was being tormented by an armed group, who had also demanded a ransom of almost a million dollars.
A search for the keywords "9 year old, kidnapping, Giza" led us to a news report by Almasdar News from 27 February 2018.
According to the report, the boy was kidnapped by members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) group in Daraa's Al-Jeezah town. The video had reportedly been released by the group along with their ransom demand of a million dollars.
FIR Filed Against Mevani
Meanwhile, the RM VM school has filed an FIR against Jignesh Mevani for spreading fake news through a tweet.
Valsad deputy superintendent of police said, Mevani’s tweet has defamed the school. “This could further affect the way parents of other students think of the institution,” he told The Quint.
Slamming Mevani RM VM School Principal Bijal Patel told The Quint they had to file a complaint as the school had been dealing with similar incidents for two years.
“If an MLA does this, what hope will I have for common people? People will believe it, considering he is an MLA,” the principal said, expressing her frustration.
NOT FIRST TIME RM VM SCHOOL HAS FEATURED IN FAKE NEWS
This is not the first time RM VM school has made its way to the realm of fake news. In July 2018, a video of a man thrashing several young children went viral with the claim that it was from the said school.
However, a reverse image search then had showed that the video was from Egypt and not Valsad, as originally claimed.
Moreover, the school too had published a statement on its website, which clarified, "“There are a number of videos being uploaded under the RM & VM School name. These videos are 100% spurious and have been collected from different incidents which are unrelated to the school. Below is a video from ABP News that proves the illegitimacy of these videos.”
(Hi there! We will be continuing our news service on WhatsApp. Meanwhile, stay tuned to our Telegram channel here.)