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A hoard of misinformation and fake news within the Tripura violence incidents

The violence in Tripura flared up about 2 weeks ago when more than 10 incidents of communal violence were reported within a span of 4 days. The violence can be traced to communal violence in Bangladesh during the Durga puja. The aftermath of the violence affected Tripura as well, which shared three of its sides with Bangladesh at the border. Many houses of Muslim citizens were burnt down with rallies taken out by Vishwa Hindu Parishad taking out rallies that went against the secual fabric of the nation. As many as 13 people have been reported dead from these incidents.

Many videos and pictures were posted online by users and journalists showing the situation on ground but amongst these reports and posts a lot of fake news and misinformation is also being spread causing confusion for others and making it impossible for the common man to know what is the reality and what is fake.

Amidst this, our team has collected a series of fact checks on the incidents to make it easier for people to decipher the truth.

Claim 1:

A video is being vigorously shared online linked to violence in Rangpur. The video was first shared by the verified account of Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council claiming that Hindu temples and houses were being burnt in Rangpur.

https://twitter.com/UnityCouncilBD/status/1449808782582853638

The video has received over 2,60,000 views on Twitter alone and more on Facebook.

Fact-Check:

However, upon performing reverse image searches, we found several local news media coverage of a fire that took place in Karatichhara, Tripura.

Same video posted by a local news media site

The fire actually did take place on October 13,2021 from a suspected short circuit. There was no communal angle to this.

Therefore, this claim is fake.

Claim 2:

Last week, a video was circulated widely on Twitter. The video shows a man with a sword walking around in the presence of what looks like a policeman. The man is wearing an orange kurta the colour of which is historically associated with the Hindu right. In the last few weeks, Tripura has seen a surge in communal violence due to which many videos and pictures have been circulating online.

This particular video has been posted multiple times getting thousands of views.

Video getting over 9,000 views
Video was then posted multiple times

Fact-Check:

Since the video has now become a viral sensation, Tripura police themselves verified the claim and released a statement that the video is not from Tripura. Attached below is Cyber Crime Tripura’s statement on the video:

Tripura Police’s statemen

Since the claim has been debunked by Tripura Police, this claim is false.

Claim 3:

On October 28, users began posting videos of a massive procession stating that this rally was taking place in Kadamtala, Tripura to protest against the violence.

Video posted by user gaining 2,000 views
Same video was posted by multiple users

Fact-Check:

Upon performing a key word and key frame search on the video, we found that the same footage was posted in May,2021. The procession was actually a funeral procession of Hazrat Abdul Hameed Mohammad Salimul Qadri in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh taken out on May 9 ,2021.

Here is the original video:

Since there has been a surge of fake news related to Tripura, the police even issued statements warning citizens to beware of it.

Since the video is not related to Tripura, this claim is false.

Claim 4:

A video was shared on Facebook claiming that the Tripura police were leading the rioters to burn the houses of Muslim residents and can also been seen chanting “Jai Shree Ram”. One version of the video shared on October 27, has over 3,00,000 views on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=408557094062680&id=100047251792793

Fact-Check:

We broke the video down into frames and performed a reverse image search of the video. We found several news reports that had used the same footage on March 27, 2018. According to Patna Live, on the occasion of Chaitra Durga Puja in Rosda Bazar in Samastipur district, Bihar, there was stone pelting and arson after a dispute between two communities. The report further stated that a video of a Bihar policeman shouting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ had gone viral after the incident.

Since the video is from Bihar and is from 2018, this claim is false.

Claim 5:

Another video showing a massive protest was posted on Twitter claiming the protest was being taken out in response to the violence in Tripura. The video currently has over 10,000 views and is growing.

The user claimed the video is taken in Kerala and commends them for taking the rally out for the violence.

Fact-Check:

Once, performing a keyframe search along with a keyword search of the video, we found the footage posted by users in January 2020 stating that the video was of an anti-CAA protest rally in Mannarkad, Kerala. This can be substantiated by the fact that in the video, the people can be heard chanting “azadi” which was widely associated with the movement.

 

Real video from 2020

Claim 6: 

 

Another video of the violence was widely spread online suggesting that the BBC did a report on Tripura. The video was widely shared on Twitter and Facebook.  

 

Fact-Check: 

After performing a key work search we found the BBC covered the 2020 Delhi Riots and the footage of the coverage was posted on BBC’s pages as well. The same video, cut cleverly was used to show that the BBC covered Tripura as well. 

Since the video is not connected to Tripura, this claim is false. 

Claim 7: 

Three images circulated online claim that 16 mosques have been burnt in Tripura along with three images have been shared to show the damage done. 

 

Fact-Check: 

We shall be looking at these three images separately. 

Image 1: 

Upon reverse searching the image we found a tweet by journalist Aasif Mutjaba who declared that the images were from a Rohingya Camp in New Delhi and not Tripura.

Image 2: 

The second image seems to be taken from the same camp and we happened to find video coverage of the incident by Mojo. 

Image 3: 

The third image looks like it is from a protest with a big fire in the middle. We performed a reverse image search and found various news reports of the image used in the anti-CAA protests in Assam. 

 

The image used in a news article

Therefore, all three images used in the tweets are not linked to Tripura rendering the claim fake. 

Claim 8: 

On October 27,2021, users posted images of broken down buildings claiming that these houses were torn down in Tripura. The video was shared many times on Twitter and Facebook. 

Fact-Check: 

However this claim turned out to be false as the images were taken in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur area where atleast 5 people died and 6 were injured after the mosque collapsed. 

Evidence of the incident

Therefore, this claim is fake. 

Claim 9: 

The verified account of Bangladeshi media house Basherkella posted a video of a man being beaten up in front of his family. The video has been posted with the claim that this has been happening in Tripura. The video has over 1,000 views. 

Fact-Check: 

Upon reverse searching the key frames of the video we found the same video posted on Facebook by ETV Bharat on April 27,2021. The caption says that the video was taken in Bangalore’s Ashok Nagar area about an assassination. 

Video posted by ETV Bharat

Since the video is old and from Tripura, this claim too is false.