A short video showing a man throwing himself under a truck full of Kanwar Yatris is being shared to claim that a Muslim man deliberately carried out the act, to put the blame of his death on Hindu devotees and cause communal tensions.
The video, which shows buses and trucks passing on a busy street and a Muslim man abruptly throwing himself under a passing truck, is being widely shared on social media, days after two Kanwariyas (Kanwar Yatra devotees) died in a road mishap near Uttar Pradesh's Amroha, leading to unrest.
While the incident is true, we found that it is not a recent one. We came across news reports from 2017, that identified the deceased as one Wahid from Laheswada in Uttar Pradesh's Deoband.
Deoband Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramkaran told The Quint that the incident was a case of suicide and not a 'pre-planned' conspiracy.
The video is being widely shared on social media, where users state that a Muslim man recently threw himself under a truck belonging to a Kanwar Yatra procession in an attempt to cause communal disharmony.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using relevant keywords, we looked for more information regarding the incident. The search led us to a news report by Hindi news portal Live Hindustan, which carried a still from the video and published their report on 18 July 2017.
According to this report, the man was identified as Wahid, a resident of Laheswada in Uttar Pradesh's Deoband, who died by suicide after throwing himself under a mini truck full of Kanwar Yatra devotees. His family requested that his body be allowed to be cremated without legal action.
Since the complete video of the act was captured on a bystander's mobile phone, the police were able to prevent communal tension in the area, it added.
Another report by Dainik Jagran mentioned that a crowd gathered at the spot of the incident and that heavy police presence had been deployed to control the situation. It mentioned that Wahid died on the spot after the truck's rear wheel went over him.
As per an article by Scroll, Saharanpur Senior Superintendent of Police Babloo Kumar said that they were investigating whether the incident was a planned attempt at "inciting communal tensions" or if it was a coincidence.
Deoband Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramkaran confirmed to The Quint that the video was taken on 18 July 2017.
"The viral video is from 2017. No such incident has taken place in Deoband recently. Kanwar Yatra processions are passing peacefully through the area. No legal action was taken and the police found that it was a case of suicide."Ramkaran, DCP Deoband
We also found that UP Police's fact-check account quote-tweeted Kishwar's tweet, noting that the video was from 2017.
Saharanpur Police's verified Twitter account also shared a post noting the viral video was five years old, stating that action would be taken against those sharing the post as a recent incident. It also asked people to delete their posts immediately.
(Note: Swipe right to view both tweets.)
UP Police's fact-checking wing quote-tweeted Kishwar to clarify.
Clearly, a five year old video of a Muslim man throwing himself under a truck of Kanwar Yatra devotees is being shared as a video of a recent incident.
(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly mentioned Ramkaran's designation as the deputy commissioner of police. He is the deputy superintendent of police. Error is regretted.)