Video from 2017 falsely shared as 'Rohingyas capturing Hindu women' in West Bengal

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 17 2023

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Video from 2017 falsely shared as 'Rohingyas capturing Hindu women' in West Bengal


The Verdict False

A 2017 video of men harassing women in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur district is being circulated with a false claim.

Claim ID 3c43330c

(Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of distressing visuals, and mentions of rape and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.)


Old videos and false claims are being widely shared online since the release of "The Kerala Story," a film through which the makers claim to tell true stories of how Hindu women in Kerala are being forcibly converted to Islam to join ISIS. Amid sparsely reported incidents and little evidence to suggest such incidents are happening at scale, critics of the movie are calling it propoganda. 

As widespread protests broke out against the film across India, West Bengal became the first state to ban it. During this development, a Twitter video allegedly highlighting lack of womens safety in West Bengal emerged on social media. Accompanied by a caption that read, "This is the state of West Bengal where Mamatha Banerjee bans #TheKeralastory," the video showed girls objecting to an assault and defending themselves while being surrounded and groped by the assailants, who recorded the incident using their cellphones. The women's anguished cries and desperate pleas are clearly audible in the video.

The caption also claimed, “Rohingyas capture Hindu women often converting them raping them in tribal areas.”(sic))

However, the video is roughly six years old and has no relation to West Bengal or Rohingyas.

In Fact

Through a reverse image search using a keyframe from the video, we found the footage originates from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. According to a report by The Indian Express dated May 29, 2017, the incident occurred when a group of men publicly molested two girls. Other media reports indicated that the perpetrators filmed the act on their phones and shared it on Facebook. The video quickly went viral on social media, causing widespread outrage. Consequently, the Uttar Pradesh police took action by apprehending the main accused and registering a case against 14 individuals involved in the incident. 

A May 2017 report by The Times of India, also carrying blurred screengrabs of the footage, mentioned that while none of the victims' families had approached the police, the police took suo motu cognizance of the video and filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the 14 men who were involved in the incident. The FIR was filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault or use of force on a woman with intent to disrobe), and other applicable provisions of the Information Technology Act.

A Hindustan Times report with visuals of the incident from May 31, 2017, reported that the police arrested 12 of the 14 accused and that a search was underway for the rest. While the report mentioned that the two women were Dalits, and at least four of the suspects were Muslims, there was no mention of Rohingyas.

This assault video, originating from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, has no connection to the ongoing controversy surrounding the film "The Kerala Story" or the state of West Bengal. It has been falsely circulated with unsubstantiated allegations that Rohingyas abduct Hindu women, coerce them into conversion, and subject them to sexual abuse in tribal areas.

The Verdict

The video is of an incident from Uttar Pradesh in May 2017 and is being falsely linked to the ban on "The Kerala Story" in West Bengal. 

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English , অসমীয়া

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before