No, This Video Doesn’t Show Lynching in India, It’s From Brazil!
The video shows a man being brutally attacked with axes as he begs for mercy.
A video which shows five people attacking a young man with axes, sticks and bricks is circulating on social media with the claim that BJP, RSS and Hindutva ‘terrorists’ brutally killed the innocent young man with axes.
The video shared by Twitter handle @mirzafuj has been viral since 2018 with the claim of depicting a young man being lynched in India. In the video, the attackers hit the young man with axes as he begs for mercy, and they, heedless to his pleading, continue till he collapses and falls silent.
(The Quint has not included the video in this story because of its graphic content.)
The video was earlier shared by a Twitter profile called 'John lewis the best' with the caption, “But this is called #Lynching Liberals wherever on planet earth it is happening. Maybe just to target @narendramodi.”
A graphic on the video says that under Modi’s rule, law is not needed, and asks the video to be shared widely enough “that it reaches Narendra Modi’s ministers.” The insinuation, therefore, is that the video depicts an incident which happened in India.
TRUE OR FALSE?
Using reverse image search, we found out that the video is not from India but is instead from Brazil, of an incident that occurred in 2018.
According to a report, the victim, identified as 17-year-old Wesley Tiago de Sousa Carvalho, was lynched in the tourist district of Praia do Futuro, in Fortaleza. Investigators at the time dismissed claims that Carvalho was killed because of his sexual orientation and gender identity and instead said it was a settling of accounts between gangs.
The video itself also makes clear that the incident did not take place in India because of the foreign language being spoken by the attackers and the victim, as well as different facial features.
Therefore, the video is of a brutal lynching in a different country, which has been shared in India with a false narrative.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
While digging around to unearth the origin of the video, we came across another aspect of it becoming viral.
In May 2018, when the video was being circulated on social media, a family in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal saw it and claimed that it was their son being killed by the five assailants.
Their son, identified as Ajab Singh, who hailed from Sambhal, had reportedly gone to Delhi to work as a labourer and the family had not heard from him in over six months. Seeing the video, which had been sent to the brother of the man in question on Whatsapp by an unknown person in Azamgarh, the family believed that their son was the person being brutally killed.
News reports by multiple media outlets such as NDTV, News18, Financial Express and The Times of India among others, mentioned the video which was being circulated. However, nobody verified the video and instead accepted it as one of the purported lynching in Delhi or around.
In fact, Zee News even carried a blurred version of the video with the title, ‘Man killed with an axe in UP's Sambhal- VIDEO VIRAL.’
But speaking to The Quint, an ANI reporter from UP confirmed that the video being circulated then, seen by the family, was the same as the one in question here, and proved to be from Brazil.
Prakash Pandey, a police officer who was posted in Sambhal at the time and involved with the case, also confirmed that there was such a video in circulation, showing the brutal murder of a man, which the family had seen.
The family had also filed a case at the local police station in Chandausi in May 2018.
In a strange turn of events, the ANI reporter also informed us that the son, Ajab Singh, who was thought to be dead, had actually returned home a few days later, proving that he was not the one in the video. The police officer also confirmed that the son had in fact returned home soon after the family filed a case, causing it to be taken away.
(Note: This story has been updated in the light of the video being shared with a different claim)
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