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FACT CHECK: Viral video falsely claims gangrape in Manipur, actually an incident from Bengaluru in 2021

India TV Fact Check has verified that this video is unrelated to the ongoing violence in Manipur but is, in fact, from an incident that took place in Bengaluru in 2021. The misleading video, which wrongly attributes the perpetrators and location, has the potential to stoke communal tensions.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: October 09, 2023 19:20 IST
FACT CHECK
Image Source : INDIA TV Screenshot showing viral video falsely claims gangrape in Manipur

A distressing video depicting a gangrape has resurfaced with false claims suggesting it occurred in Manipur and involved Hindus raping a Christian woman. India TV Fact Check has confirmed that this video is unrelated to the ongoing violence in Manipur and is actually from an incident that transpired in Bengaluru, Karnataka in 2021. The misleading video, which has been shared on social media platforms, falsely portrays the perpetrators and location, fueling communal tensions.

The Manipur region has witnessed recent violence triggered by the circulation of a viral video showing the burning of a tribal man's body. The police have identified this video as originating from early May and are conducting an investigation. The violence in Manipur began on May 3, 2023, stemming from an ethnic conflict between the majority Meiteis and tribal Kuki-Zo communities, leading to widespread unrest and displacement. Internet access in the region was initially suspended but briefly restored on September 23, only to be blocked again on September 25 due to the surfacing of images depicting the bodies of two missing Meitei students.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVScreenshot showing false video of claiming gangrape in Manipur

India TV did a Fact Check

The India TV Fact Check team further examined the video and confirmed that the language spoken by the survivor and perpetrators was Bengali, not Manipuri. Keyword searches revealed that the video was used as a featured image in reports by News Bangla 24 covering a rape incident in Bengaluru involving a Bangladeshi citizen. According to these reports, Ashraful Mondal, also known as Boss Rafi, and Abdur Rahman confessed to their involvement in a trafficking racket operating between Bangladesh and India. The video in question displayed five men disrobing and sexually assaulting a woman.

An NDTV report from May 2021 also confirmed the circulation of this disturbing video on social media platforms, sparking outrage. The footage depicted the torment of a 22-year-old woman, including the insertion of a bottle into her private parts, followed by a gang rape.

Bengaluru police launched a swift investigation, leading to the apprehension of 12 Bangladeshi nationals, including three women, in connection with the assault and rape of the survivor. The accused were identified as Shobuj Sheik, Rafiq, Ridoy Babu, Rakibul Islam Sagar, Mohammed Babu Shaik, Hakil, Ajim, Jamal, Dalim, Nasrath, Kajal, and Tanya. Ridoy Babu, a TikTok personality, was also involved in trafficking women. The accused lured women from Bangladesh to India under the pretense of providing employment opportunities but later coerced them into prostitution. The report noted that Rafiq and Shobuj targeted the gangrape survivor for assisting other women in escaping the trafficking ring. In retaliation, they subjected her to a brutal assault.

A Bengaluru court handed down guilty verdicts for 11 of the accused on May 21, 2022.

This fact check highlights the importance of verifying information before sharing it, as misleading content can contribute to communal tensions and misinformation.

Also read | FACT CHECK: Did PM Modi wear skull cap? viral picture turns out to be fake

Also read | FACT CHECK: False claims circulate about giant Octopus spotted in Qatar's parking area

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