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HomeFact CheckReligionYet Another Video Of Buildings On Fire In Bangladesh Shared With Communal...

Yet Another Video Of Buildings On Fire In Bangladesh Shared With Communal Claim

A video showing a raging blaze engulfing a set of buildings as the fire department attempts to tackle the fire, is being shared by a section of social media users, claiming it to be an instance of anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh’s Kishoreganj. Newschecker has found that neither does the video show fire in Kishoreganj, nor is it an instance of anti-Hindu violence. 

Also read: Did Dawn Attribute Massive Flooding In Pakistan To ‘People Not Reading Quran’? No, Edited Screenshot Goes Viral

The twitter handle @SantaniPrashemi was among the pages that shared the video claiming to show fire in Kishoreganj, situated in Dhaka division of Bangladesh. The post had over 300 retweets and over 300 likes. 

Several other pages shared the same video on twitter with similar captions.  

Several other users also shared images that showed the aftermath of the fire. 

Meanwhile, others shared images of a ransacked locker, and claimed that houses were also looted in the alleged attack.

Fact check/Verification

To verify the authenticity of the claim, Newschecker conducted a keyword search in Bengali and found a few reports in Bangladeshi news outlets that had reported on the said fire. The reports claimed that the clashes took place due to a “love affair”.

“At least 20 people were injured in the clash between the two sides in the trivial incident at Bhairab (of Kishoreganj). During the clash, the miscreants vandalized and set fire to 10 shops and houses and caused damage of at least 15 lakh taka, the victims alleged. Police rushed to the spot and fired 32 rounds of rubber bullets to stop the clash,” a report on the incident in Jugantor read. “According to eyewitnesses and police sources, the incident started over a love affair in Chandivar area of ​​Bhairav ​​town,” the report mentions clearly. The report on Jugantor however did not carry any images. 

Local media outlet RTV News’ report on the same incident read, “A 3-hour long clash and chase took place between two villagers over harassment of a school student in Bhairab of Kishoreganj.” The report further elaborated, “According to the local residents and the police, the school-going students of Paltakanda village were being harassed by some mischievous youth of Chandivar village on their way to and from. As a result of this, there was a clash on Thursday night. At that time, there was a chase between the people of both sides. At one stage, the people of Paltakanda village vandalized and looted the houses and businesses of the people of Chandivar village.” 

The report also quotes the father of the child who was allegedly the target of eve teasing. “Ratan, the father of the student who was bullied in Paltakanda village, said that Riyad, the son of Nabi Hossain of Chandivar village, has been harassing my daughter on her way to and from school for several days. As a result, the conflict started,” the report quotes Ratan as saying.

Neither reports mention anything about any religious angle. 

We then reached out to a local journalist Asaduzzaman Faruk, who works with Jugantor. Faruk confirmed that the fire took place after a fight between people from two villages over an alleged love affair. “The incident had no religious angle to it. The fire started after two groups clashed over the alleged love affair. Both the girl and the boy are Muslims. The father of the girl is one Ratan Miya. Fire service was called in, and 3 houses, 1 salon, 2 grocery shops, 1 cotton shop were burnt,” Faruk said. He also shared testimonies of several victims and the press briefing by the local police which confirmed that all the parties in the case were from the same community and that the incident had no religious aspect to it.

“The people from Chandivar’s south area, the boys of Navi Hussain, got into a clash with Poltakanda’s Rashid Mia. After this incident, the villagers from the two places started beating each other, Navi Hussain’s Rifat, & Riyat attacked Rashid’s house. When I got the news, I reached there with arm force. We saw nearly two hundred people participate in the clash with some weapons,” the police official said in the press briefing. 

We noticed that the image carried by the RTV News report shows charred remains with tin roofing, whereas one can clearly make out solid concrete-like structures in the viral video, proving that they are two separate incidents.

Newschecker then conducted a reverse image search of the keyframes of the viral video and found a Facebook post by channel Narsingdir Konthosor. You can watch the report here.

Fire in Bangladesh shared with communal claim

“Narsingdi Ghorashal fire, 4 shops burned to ashes! 4 shops were reduced to ashes in Narsingdi Ghorashal fire. The victims claim that they have suffered a loss of around 8 lakh rupees in this fire. The incident took place at Dhaladia Bazar in the municipal area around 3:30 on Monday night. It is known that the fire started from a shop in the market at night. Two units of Palash Upazila Fire Service got the information in the night and brought the fire under control after trying for about an hour. In the fire, 4 shops and goods including a grocery shop and poultry feed shop in that market were completely burnt,” the caption read.

Newschecker reached out to Palash police station to verify the facts of the matter. Palash police station in-charge Mohammad Ilyas confirmed that the video was indeed from Narsingdi, but clarified that it had no communal overtones to it. “The area has only Hindu residents, there aren’t any Muslims here. Fire service informed the police department that the fire broke out due to a short circuit. It spread further and engulfed four shops,” he said. 

Thus, the video, claiming to show Hindu homes being set on fire in Kishoreganj, is actually from Narsingdi and does not have any communal angle to it. 

Conclusion 

Video of shops burning in Narsingdi district in Central Bangladesh after a fire triggered by short circuit is being passed off with communal colour as an incident of arson in Kishoreganj district. While in both cases there was a fire, neither of the incidents were religiously motivated.

Result: False 

Our Sources

Report published in Jugantor, dated August 24, 2022
Report published in RTV News, dated August 23, 2022
Conversation with Asaduzzaman Faruk, journalist with Jugantor
Conversation with Md Ilyas, station in-charge, Palas PS

(With Afroze Jahan reporting from Bangladesh)

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Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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