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HomeFact CheckVideo Of Mule Handlers Assaulting Kedarnath Devotees Shared With Communal Spin

Video Of Mule Handlers Assaulting Kedarnath Devotees Shared With Communal Spin

Authors

A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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.

Claim
Muslim handlers of mules and horses on the Kedarnath yatra route assault pilgrims.

Fact
Video was given a communal narrative, the handlers were not Muslim.

Several social media users are circulating a video of an altercation, claiming that Muslim mule and horse handlers assaulted Hindu pilgrims at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand. Mules, ponies, and horses are used in large numbers for ferrying pilgrims on the Char Dham Yatra route.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Also Read: Old, Unrelated Videos Shared To Show Impact Of Cyclone Biparjoy

Fact Check

Newschecker ran a keyword search for “Kedarnath assault mule handlers”, which led us to multiple news reports, seen here, here and here. None of these reports state that the horse and mule operators are Muslim. According to a Times of India report, dated June 14, 2023, the argument began because the visitors sought help for an injured horse and objected to the horses being beaten, to which the owners retaliated physically. Five individuals identified as horse and mule operators have been arrested.

According to an ETV India report, dated June 13, 2023, the Rudraprayag police have arrested Ankit Singh, Santosh Kumar, Rohit Kumar and Gautam in the case. Apart from this, the police are also taking separate action over the alleged involvement of a minor in the case.

The Uttarakhand Police also tweeted on June 13, stating that the accused — Ankit Singh, Santosh Kumar, Rohit Kumar and Gautam — have been arrested and a case has been registered.  Rudraprayag Superintendent of Police Vishakha Bhadane also issued a statement on Twitter on June 14.

Also Read: Viral Anthony Blinken Statement Criticising Jaishankar On ‘Minority Persecution’ In India Is Fake

Conclusion

Newschecker’s investigation found that a communal angle was given to the viral video of a brawl between devotees and mule handlers at Kedarnath.

Result: Partly False

Sources
Tweet, Uttarakhand Police, June 13, 2023
Tweet, Rudraprayag Police, June 13, 2023
Media reports


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Authors

A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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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