As multiple reports of post-poll violence in West Bengal inundate social media, a video of a woman from Bangladesh, being forcefully carried away from her house by a group of men, has been falsely shared as an incident of violence by ‘Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons’.
However, the video is from Bangladesh’s Bhola district and shows a woman who had converted to Islam for marriage being taken back to her family, allegedly by local ‘influential people’. Authorities have also alleged that the girl was a minor and, hence, the marriage was illegal.
The video was shared by several social media users with a caption, claiming that the video was from Bengal.
Facebook user ‘Aakash Jaiswal’ shared the video, claiming it showed violence against women in Bengal in broad daylight.
(Note: The visuals can be disturbing for some users. Viewer’s discretion is advised)
Another user shared the video with a caption in Hindi, urging PM Modi to “save Bengal from Mamata Banerjee”.
A similar claim was also shared in Telugu. A user, ‘Nivas Battula’, shared the video, claiming that it showed how “Muslim gangs had the freedom to rape a Hindu girl in broad daylight and kill her in Bengal” and that they were supported by TMC goons.
He had garnered over 16,000 views and 1,300 shares at the time of writing this article. You can view an archived version here. Twitter handle ‘Hindu Ecosystem’ had also shared and later deleted the video without any context.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
With the help of Boom’s Bangladesh team, we found a longer version of the video, showing the woman being carried away despite her resistance and falling on the feet of an elder, on SR TV’s YouTube channel, dated 26 April 2021.
The video had been captioned, “See what happened to the girl after she converted from Hinduism to Islam.”
A relevant keyword search led to the video dated 27 April 2021 on Facebook.
The caption stated that the incident took place in Bangladesh’s Daulatkhan, Bhola. A woman named Sravanti, alias Jannatul Ferdaus, had converted to Islam to marry one Kamrul Islam.
A report on Bangladesh’s news website Dhaka Post stated that a case of kidnapping was filed by Sravanti’s family when she had gone missing and the video showed her being “rescued”.
The Gazipur Metropolitan Police and Daulatkhan Police authorities have also alleged that she is just 15 years of age and, hence, her marriage after conversion was illegal.
On the other hand, Kamrul claimed that she was 18 years old and that Sravanti had willingly converted to Islam. She had converted to Islam on 15 April through a notary, taking up the name, Jannatul Ferdous. However, on Friday, 23 April, people took her away.
Another report by Bangladeshi daily, Dainik Amader Shomoy stated that Sravanti can be seen holding the feet of a local councilor named Gias Uddin and crying in the viral video. Locals had also protested the “handing over of the Muslim bride from her husband’s house to her Hindu parents”.
Evidently, a viral video from Bangladesh has been falsely shared as an incident of violence in West Bengal.
(This story has been published as part of the Ekta Consortium. Ekta is a collaboration of six fact-checking organisations in India.)