A 30 second video showing a brutal stabbing of a young woman is going viral on social media, with many users alleging it to be a case of ‘love jihad’ in West Bengal’s Murshidabad. While the video is from Murshidabad, Newschecker has found the allegation of ‘love-jihad’ to be false.
The video shows a man, wearing a red shirt and black pants, screaming at onlookers in Bengali, while a woman clad in black lies on the ground next to him. Soon after, he proceeds to repeatedly stab the woman.
The video has been shared on Facebook by a page called ‘स्वराज भारतवर्ष‘ which has 8,715 followers on the platform. The video has been shared with the caption ‘Welcome to Islamic State Of Bengal. Love Jihad case Baharampur, Murshidabad. Hindu girl refused to accept His religion of peace so he stabbed her in public. Victim is the student of Murshidabad Bahrampur Krishnanath College. Sutapa Chowdhury, a third year student’ Newschecker advises viewer discretion as the video is graphic in nature.
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter and Facebook with similar captions.
The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.
Fact Check/ Verification
Upon a keyword search for the word ‘Man stabbing woman’ and ‘Murshidabad, West Bengal’, Newschecker found a news report by Indian Express uploaded on 4th May, 2022 on their website which revealed that both the accused and the victim were of the same community.
According to the report, the victim Sutapa Chowdhury, a third-year student at Berhampore Girls’ College, was killed outside her college mess on Monday 2nd May, 2022. The accused, identified as 22-year-old Sushanta Chowdhury of Malda district, has been arrested.
The report quoted Swadhin Kumar Chowdhury, the victim’s father as saying, “Sushanta met Sutapa around three years ago and had been in a relationship with her. But they broke up later. As my daughter stopped talking to him, Sushanta started blackmailing, threatening and intimidating her. We sought the local councillor’s help to make him [Sushanta] understand that Sutapa wanted to continue her studies and that he shouldn’t disturb her.”
There was no reference to ‘Love Jihad’ or inter-faith marriage or conversion in the article.
Newschecker conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes of the video to ascertain its authenticity and found a news report by several media houses such as ABP Ananda and Digital Bengal TV which recounted the same information as reported by the Indian Express.
Upon further investigation, Newschecker found a news report by LIVE বাংলা Tv uploaded on their Facebook page on 4th May, 2022 which carried an interview with the victim’s mother who was grief stricken by the murder of her daughter.
According to the report, Susanta Chowdhury had attacked Sutapa’s house with some people under the influence of alcohol 9 months ago. He had threatened to kill her and threatened to publish pictures of their intimate moments on social media, after which Sutapa’s father Swadhin Chowdhury sought the help of local council members to quell the situation.
Newschecker tried contacting the family of Sutapa Chowdhury, but they were unavailable for comment.
Newschecker also found a statement made by the SP of Murshidabad, K Sabari Raj Kumar on their Facebook page on 3rd May, 2022. The SP mentions the same names of the victim and the prime accused but mentioned no religious angle to the incident.
Newschecker also found a report by ABP Ananda uploaded on their Facebook page on the 5th May, 2022 which contained another statement by the SP of Murshidabad where he is heard clarifying that this was not a crime motivated by religion.
According to the report, the SP of Murshidabad clarified that there was no religious angle to the murder and that many social media users were spreading misinformation and unsubstantiated claims over the incident. He also warned that an FIR will be lodged against those who spread misinformation with the Cyber Crime department, the report added.
According to the investigation conducted by Newschecker, the young woman in Murshidabad was killed by a jilted lover and both the victim and the accused belonged to the same community. Claims on social media linking the incident to love jihad is false.
Result: Fabricated Content/ False
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