Local Dispute in Siliguri Falsely Blamed on ‘Muslim Immigrants’

Siliguri Police rubbished the claims saying a case has been registered against BJP’s Youth Leader Abhijat Mishra.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
Video of a woman alleging that the Police took her brother in custody after her neighbours vandalised her house is being shared massively on social media.
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A viral video showing a woman crying for help is being shared on social media with a false claim that it involved a house being vandalised by 'illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh'.

However, the message was found to be completely misleading. The woman's family got into a dispute with their neighbours over the disposal of garbage bags following which clashes broke out between the two parties. The incident is being shared with a false communal spin.

THE CLAIM

A viral video shows a woman crying and claiming that her brother was taken into custody by police after her house was vandalised. "They do this with us every time. Is it because we don't have a guardian?", she can be heard asking.

The claim with which the video is being circulated reads: "ये बिहार की युवती, सिलीगुड़ी बंगाल में रहती हैं लेकिन ममता बानो के बंगलादेशी मुस्लिम घुसपैठियों ने इनके घर पर हमला कर दिया इनकी क्या हालत की आप देखिए बिहारी होने की सजा #मरता_हिन्दू_जलता_बंगाल (sic)." [Translation: This woman is from Siliguri in West Bengal. Illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh who've been sheltered by Mamata Bano vandalised her house. This is the cost of being a Bihari in Bengal.]

Among those who shared the claim is Abhijat Mishra, the National General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM)

An archived link of the Tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/4aNKR">here</a>.
An archived link of the Tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screeshot)

The video is viral on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.

An archived version of the page can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/USdBo">here</a>.
An archived version of the page can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)
An archived version of the page can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/P57pU">here</a>.
An archived version of the page can be accessed here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND

A simple look at the video raises some red flags regarding the claim. As opposed to the viral claim, nowhere in the video is the woman suggesting involvement of "Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants."

She says,"Police took my younger brother away without any reason. We tried asking them what his fault was but they took him away. We are treated very badly here. This is because our father is no more and we have no guardian as my mother is a cancer patient. We don't engage in fights. People try to boss us around. Today they've completely vandalised our house. They were beating us in front of the police and nobody did anything. Please help us! I don't know what to do. They hit my mother as well. She is bleeding and we can't take her to a doctor as we are not being allowed to step out of our house. When we try to go out they hit us. Nobody is coming for our help. They are saying don't let these Biharis stay here. We won't let Biharis stay here. We've purchased land here with our own money. Is it not our right to stay in West Bengal only because we are Biharis?"

While the video does raise an issue of regionalism, it does not identify the attackers as Muslim Bangladeshi immigrants.

We found out more details about the incident from the Facebook page of Siliguri Police Commissionerate which said that the viral video was posted by one Anuradha Pandey who alleged that her neighbours heckled her family members and vandalised her house. Police further confirmed that a case has been filed against Abhijat Mishra for giving the incident a communal colour.

Next, we conducted a Google search using keywords "Clash between Neighbours in Siliguri, WB" and found a report by Siliguri Times dated 12 May. According to the report, "A clash allegedly erupted between two families in Siliguri's Bhaktinagar area over the disposal of garbage." As per the report, several members of the families were injured in the incident.

We were also able to access a longer version of the video uploaded on YouTube.

Clearly, the case of a dispute between locals is being shared with a false communal angle.

Remember that the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019 following which there were massive protests across the country. According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till 31 December 2014 and faced religious persecution there will be given Indian citizenship. Since then The Quint has debunked multiple false claims targeting the Muslim community.

(This story was first debunked by AltNews)

(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.)

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