Murder of a Hindu family in Bangladesh given false communal spin

By: Mohammad Salman
February 7 2024

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Murder of a Hindu family in Bangladesh given false communal spin

Screenshots of the viral posts circulating on social media. (Source: X/ Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The accused and the victims in this case belong to the same family. An unpaid debt is believed to be the motive behind the murder.

Claim ID d6f996b6

What is the claim?

Images and claims concerning the murder of a Hindu family in Bangladesh have been circulating on social media, attributing the act to communal violence. These claims, accompanied by distressing images of the victims, have sparked widespread attention and concern. (Note: Due to the sensitive nature of these visuals, we have chosen not to include links to the original posts or archived versions.)

A post on X (formerly known as Twitter) claimed, "In Bangladesh, three members of the same Hindu family were murdered by Islamists by beheading them at home." This post received significant engagement, with over 16,000 views. Another user shared images with a caption alleging that Islamists killed a Hindu leader's family in Sirajganj. The victims were identified as Bikash Sarkar, Swarna Sarkar, and their daughter, Parmita Sarkar Tushi.

Screenshots of the viral posts (Source: X/ Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that the claim is false. The accused, as well as the victims, are from the same family – identified as Vikas Sarkar, his wife Swarna Rani Sarkar, and their 15-year-old daughter. 

How did we verify this?

In our investigation, we discovered comments from Shonahur Rehman, a fact-checker based in Bangladesh, on a viral post. He clarified that the incident lacked a communal angle, identifying the accused as the deceased man's nephew, Rajiv Kumar Bhoumik.

A search in English and Bangla led us to various news reports concerning the incident. The Daily Star, on January 31, 2024, reported the arrest of Rajiv Kumar Bhoumik for the murder of three family members in Sirajganj's Tarasha. The article cited Sirajganj Police Superintendent Arifur Rehman, who stated that Rajiv confessed to committing the murders due to his inability to repay a loan of 35 lakh Bangladeshi Taka owed to his maternal uncle. The victims were identified as Vikas Sarkar (46), his wife Swarna Rani Sarkar (42), and their 15-year-old daughter. A murder case was filed by Sukomol Chandra Saha, Swarna Rani Sarkar's brother, at the Tarash police station.

The murder received extensive coverage in major Bangladeshi media outlets, including the Daily Star English, Financial Express, and Daily Observer, all of which reported Rajiv Bhoumik as the accused. A local fact-checker shared some of these reports with us.

A press conference conducted by Arifur Rahman, the Superintendent of Police, was posted on the YouTube channel of Channel i News on January 31, 2024. In the video, the Superintendent also named the deceased’s nephew as the accused.

The verdict

Our investigation conclusively demonstrates that the claim of Muslims brutally murdering a Hindu family in Bangladesh is false. The accused is the deceased man's nephew, with the police citing the inability to repay his uncle's debt as the motive. This incident does not have a communal aspect.

(Translated by Azra Ali.)

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