Fact Check: Video from Bangladesh circulated as clashes between Hindu-Muslim groups in WB

Asia's Tech News Daily

A video showing a violent clash between two groups is being circulated on social media with the claim that it shows Muslims protesting against a puja at a Kali Mandir in Kolkata. In the almost 4-minute video, a group of men can also be heard shouting “Allah hu Akbar”.

One such post uploaded on Facebook can be seen below.

The archived versions of similar posts can be seen here and here.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the claim along with the video is misleading. This short clip is from a recent communal clash that broke out in the Feni district of Bangladesh.

AFWA probe

We couldn’t find any credible source that carried the video and verified that it is from Kolkata. Also, in the video, we can hear a man saying that the video shows clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities in front of the ‘Boro Masjid’ in Feni.

Taking a cue from this, we searched and found multiple videos of clashes from the same location shared by social media users reportedly from a recent communal clash in Bangladesh’s Feni.

A comparison between the viral video and another video from the same location can be seen below.

In one of these videos, we can also see men wearing the uniform of Bangladesh police among the crowd.

For better clarity on the matter, AFWA reached out to a local reporter from Feni. The reporter confirmed that the video is indeed from Feni and the clashes happened two days after Bijoya Dashami in front of Boro Masjid and Boro Mandir.

Then, we searched on Google Maps and found that the masjid-like structure seen in the viral video is Feni Boro Jaame Masjid on the Grand Trunk Road in Feni.

A comparison between the screenshots from the viral video and images of Feni Boro Jaame Masjid and its surrounding areas on Google Maps confirms that the video is indeed from Feni.

The incident was also reported by multiple media outlets. According to the reports, clashes broke out between locals, Awami League activists, and the police near the Grand Trunk road in Feni on October 16 injuring around 40 people. When people from a puja committee the Central Puja Udjapan Parishad – gathered in front of the Kali temple on the GT Road protesting against the recent attacks on Durga Puja pandals in Bangladesh, men from the nearby Boro Masjid allegedly started hurling bricks at the Hindu devotees.

This later turned into a clash between the two groups. The situation heated up when an “anti-communalism” procession by Awami League also started to move towards Boro Masjid around this time. Police had to finally resort to multiple rounds of firing, say reports. A case has also been registered at the Feni Model police station over the clash.

Anti-Hindu violence recently broke out across Bangladesh following social media rumours of desecration of the Quran at a Durga Puja pandal in Cumilla. Three people were killed and many Durga Puja pandals, temples, and shops owned by Hindus were vandalised by mobs over the past few days.

It is therefore clear that the viral video is from communal clashes that recently broke out in Bangladesh and are not related to India.

(With inputs from Riddhish Dutta)

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