No, viral video is not of youth drowning in Kashmir's Aharbal waterfall

By: Umme Kulsum
July 28 2023

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No, viral video is not of youth drowning in Kashmir's Aharbal waterfall


The Verdict False

This video shows a man falling into an overflowing Arasinagundi waterfall in Karnataka's Udupi district.

Claim ID 7b232fe7


In the last few weeks, heavy monsoon rains have led to flood-like situations in various parts of India and caused several waterfalls to overflow with raging torrents. Amid this, footage of a man slipping and falling into a waterfall is going viral on social media with the claim that the video is from Kashmir's Aharbal waterfall and that the man in the video is a resident of Shopian town. A Facebook user shared the video with the text "Aharbal waterfall Tariq from Shopian Nanehaal" embedded in the clip. In the end, the video also shows the said victim's image. The post had gained more than 876,000 views and over 17,200 likes.

However, the video is not from Aharbal Falls in Kashmir.

In fact

Various Indian news outlets have shared the viral video stating that it captures an incident at Karnataka's Arasinagundi waterfall. According to a report by The Times of India, the incident took place on July 23, when a 23-year-old man was carried away by the currents of the Sowparnika River, which flows through the Kundapur taluk in Karnataka's Udupi district. The report, which carried a screengrab of the video, said the victim slipped and fell from a rock while looking at the Arasinagundi waterfall. The report added that the man was reportedly missing, and a rescue operation was underway.

According to reports by local Kannada outlets, such as Asianet Suvarna News and Public TV, the victim was identified as Sharath Kumar, a native of Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district. He was reportedly posing for a video when he lost his balance and fell over into the gushing currents of the river. The incident was captured on camera by his friend.

The India Meteorological Department had issued an orange alert in coastal Karnataka, including Udupi district, in the wake of the rains, a Hindustan Times report said.

Logically Facts also looked into whether a similar tragedy had recently occurred in Kashmir and discovered local news reports stating that on July 24, a 22-year-old man identified as Tariq Ahmad Sheikh fell into the Aharbal waterfall in Kulgam district and drownded. 

A report by local outlet The Kashmiriyat, published on July 24, stated that Sheikh was a resident of Mani Hal village located in the Shopian district of south Kashmir. According to a video report uploaded by the outlet on Facebook, Sheikh's body was discovered on July 25 by a rescue team near the waterfall.

One can also note that the topography of the Aharbal waterfall, visuals of which can be seen in an India Today report, and the waterbody seen in the viral video, are very different. Trees and large stones surround the waterfall in the viral video, while the Aharbal Falls run through a very rocky terrain. 

This confirms that the footage claiming to be of a Kashmiri man falling into the Aharbal waterfall on social media is actually of a separate occurrence from the Arasinagundi waterfall in Karnataka. 

Logically Facts could not verify whether the image shared in the Facebook post towards the end of the viral video was of Tariq Ahmad Sheikh. 

The verdict

Although a man died after falling into the Aharbal waterfall in Kashmir on July 24, the viral video shared with this information on social media is, in fact, of a man falling into the Arasinagundi waterfall in Karnataka. The viral video has nothing to do with the Aharbal incident. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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