New Delhi: Even as communal tension seems to be thawing in neighbouring Bangladesh, videos claiming to be from the violence hit country are still finding their way to social media platforms. One such video claims to show an arson attack at the home of a Hindu man in Panchagarh’s Debiganj upazila. A fact check by Newschecker has found the claim to be partly false.
The video, shared by handle @RajuDas7777, has over 1000 retweets, and over 1000 likes, and has been viewed over 12,000 times. “After Rangpur, the jihadis set fire to the house of a poor hindu man named Parimal at Darar Hat in Debiduba Union of Debiganj Upazila in Panchagarh District of Bangladesh. The incident happened around 5 am today,” the tweet claims.
Bangladesh saw a spate of attacks against the minority Hindu community after a social media post showing the Holy Quran placed near a Hanuman statue in a Durga puja pandal went viral. Miscreants attacked puja pandals and many Hindu homes were set on fire in Bangladesh by angry mobs, who claimed that the Holy Quran was disrespected.
To ascertain the claim, Newschecker ran a keyword search on Google to find an article in a Bangladeshi news portal NewsnextBD.com that said “Debiganj fire is just an accident: UNO”. The article also carries a screengrab from the same viral video.
Another article in Dhaka Tribune with the title ‘Fake photos, videos flood social media amid communal tension’ reads “In a similar incident, miscreants have spread rumours on social media about the fire at a Hindu home in Panchagarh’s Debiganj upazila on Monday night, purporting it to be arson in order to incite communal violence. The house owner, Parimal, himself later said that he had lit incense sticks to ripen bananas, which had accidentally caused the fire.”
Arthanath, nephew of the homeowner in question, confirmed to Newschecker that the fire was not caused due to an attack. “This was not a premeditated attack as is being claimed. It was an accident,” he said.
Authorities at the Debiganj fire station who responded to the fire alert also confirmed that the incident was not an attack, but was an accident. Speaking to Newschecker, Rajib Bhuiyan said “The fire forces responded after we received a call early morning at 6 am. It was not a case of arson. The homeowner used to ripen bananas by creating smoke. He used to do this inside the house. That caused the fire, which burned down the house.”
The video, which is being incorrectly passed off as an attack on a Hindu home in Bangladesh’s Debiganj Upazila, is an accident and is being shared in a wrong context in wake of the recent attacks on Hindu houses.
With inputs from Dil Afrose Jahan in Bangladesh