Misinformation related to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 has refused to die down. There is a new video which has popped up on multiple social media platforms which shows men in uniform brutally thrashing civilians.
This video is being shared with a claim that it is from Jammu and Kashmir and shows “Indian Army’s brutality against the Muslims”.
The text reads, “Please send this to all the people you know around the world to show them what the Indian ARMY is doing to the kashmiri Muslims.(sic)”
Multiple users have shared this video on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
The Quint received a query about the same video on its WhatsApp number.
TRUE OR FALSE?
There is not even an ounce of truth to this claim. Firstly, the video is as old as 2009 and secondly it is not from India but Pakistan. It purportedly shows Pakistan Army beating detainees in a rural police station for their alleged extremist links.
After the video surfaced on the internet in 2009, it drew the attention of international media. According to a report in Al Jazeera, the then spokesperson of the Pakistan Army had said that the matter was being investigated.
WHAT DID WE FIND OUT
On breaking down the video into several key frames, we saw that this video has been uploaded multiple times on the internet. It was uploaded in 2009, 2011 and 2017.
We then conduced a reverse image search using Yandex search engine and came across another video uploaded on a website called ‘trubatv.com’. This video suggested that that video is from Paksitan and it shows that Pak Army “interrogating Pashtuns without a trial”.
Taking a clue from here, we then searched on Google with the keywords “Pak army beating pashtuns” and came across a tweet that was uploaded by a user called ‘Pashtun’ in 2016. The tweet had a smaller version of the same video and it suggested that “Pakistan Army was beating innocent Pashtun in their home at Swat”.
The next clue was that the incident probably happened in Swat Valley. The next set of keywords that we used to find out the reality was “Pakistan Army beating Pashtuns Swat”.
We then came across a report in The Guardian titled ‘Video shows Pakistani soldiers beating Taliban suspects’ which described the video and the description matched the one with the viral video. The report added that the video might have been shot in Swat Valley.
We found another report in Al Jazeera, which had screenshots of the video, and it confirmed our suspicion that the report was mentioning the same video that was in question. This report too suggested that the incident was from Pakistan but also highlighted that the “authenticity was impossible to verify”.
A third report in BBC also suggested that the video could be from Swat valley.
THE UNIFORM MATCHES WITH THE UNIFORM OF THE PAK ARMY
We also compared the uniform of the men in the video to that of the Pakistan Army in 2009.
The red mark shows similar make of the cap and the green highlight shows the same make of the shirt along with the jacket.
Further, The Quint spoke to Taha Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist, who said that even though there is no way to authenticate the video, the visual references strongly suggest that it is from the Swat region.
“There is a strong likelihood that this was from the Swat region, especially given the visual references in the video that establish the ethnicity of the people, and also the fact that the language used to be from the Swat region.”
He added that many times civilians in Swat were beaten up for their alleged links to militancy.
(This story has been updated to incorporate a quote from Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui.)
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