Former Delhi MLA and BJP member Manjinder Singh Sirsa, shared shocking visuals of a woman being dragged away by four men on a busy street while she is seen writhing and screaming out for help as onlookers refuse to intervene. Sirsa claimed that the video showed a Hindu woman being abducted in broad daylight in Pakistan’s Umarkot, Sindh.
The video has been posted as part of a thread, where Sirsa aimed to highlight the plight of minority Hindus in Pakistan. Only, it wasn’t. A fact check by Newschecker has revealed that the video shows a domestic squabble and is not a case of abduction based on religion, as claimed by Sirsa and several social media users.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tweet has been shared not only on social media but even mainstream media organisations have reported on it. His tweet had garnered 600 likes and 400 retweets on last count. An archived version of the tweet can be found here.
In addition, several other users also shared the same video alleging it showed a Hindu woman being abducted, on both Twitter and Facebook. This includes Rashmi Samant, former Oxford University Students Union head, who had to resign over allegations of racism.
An archived version of Rashmi Samant’s tweet can be found here.
Republic also shared the same video clip with similar message claiming that the video showed a Hindu woman being abducted on basis of her religion, and in a phone interview with the channel, Sirsa went ahead to claim that Sirsa spoke to the victim’s mother and claimed that she was 19-year-old, abducted, raped and forcefully remarried after conversion.
An archived version of the YouTube video of Sirsa phone interview can be accessed here.
Newschecker decided to verify the veracity of the claim made by Manjinder Singh Sirsa that the video showed a Hindu woman being abducted over her religion. We began by checking the comment section of the video, where many users had pointed out that the video did not show targeted abduction but domestic abuse.
Further, Newschecker conducted a search of the thumbnail of the video using Google Lens, to find several such tweets by several users. One of the users, @dhairyam14’s tweet also claimed that the incident was a result of domestic squabble between a man and his wife, and that both the parties belonged to Hindu religion.
On probing, Newschecker received a link to a copy in Russian state-owned news platform Sputniknews, which quoted Pakistan MP and leader of Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar Vankwani saying that the there was “no Hindu Muslim angle to the incident”.
“There is no Hindu-Muslim angle to that incident. It is not a communal incident as [it] is being played out to be. The matter was a domestic dispute and the woman was involved in divorce proceedings with her husband, who was also a Hindu” Sputnik quoted Vankwani.The article cited another report on Dawn, a reputed Pakistan based newspaper. Reporting on the incident, Dawn said that the woman, Tejhan Bheel, moved the civil court to seek dissolution of marriage with Herchand Bheel as she could no longer tolerate domestic violence. “She was attacked by eight persons, including her spouse, when she was returning home after attending (the) hearing of the case. They dragged her on the road by pulling by the hair and humiliated her (in front of) people,” the article read.
Newschecker contacted Allah Bux Arisar, the journalist who filed the report for Dawn, who confirmed that the matter was not a targeted abduction and instead a case of domestic abuse. “The woman was returning from court. Her husband felt that he could convince her to withdraw the appeal for dissolution of marriage by forecefully taking her home. But the incident was captured on camera and went viral. An FIR has been registered and 6 people including the husband have been arrested,” he confirmed.
Newschecker further conducted a keyword search to find several articles carrying the same stills and the viral video, and confirming that the issue related to domestic abuse and that both the woman was being humiliated for seeking divorce by her spouse.
Newschecker further tried to reach out to Manjiner Singh Sirsa, but couldn’t connect with him.
BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tweet sharing a video clip of a woman being dragged through a busy road, claiming that she was a Hindu woman being abducted on the basis of her religion, is found to be misleading.