By: Rahul Adhikari
May 2 2023
The Almora Police confirmed the incident in question didn't involve a communal angle. It was a dispute between two neighbors from the same community.
A video has been circulating on social media claiming that Muslims from Bangladesh and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are “occupying” public land and polluting clean water with sewage in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in India. The video shows a man engaged in a heated exchange with a person behind the camera about an issue over. Several people shared the video on Twitter with the caption, "See the audacity of Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslims to occupy government land in the beautiful valley of Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. When local people protested, they were abused and threatened with murder. These Muslims are mixing sewage water with clean water." One such post received over 216,000 views and more than 11,000 likes.
After the video went viral, the Uttarakhand Police issued a statement on its social media handles clarifying that the incident did not involve a communal angle. The statement read in English(originally written in Hindi): "Attention! The viral video regarding the draining of sewer/dirty water in a nearby rivulets/water source in Ranikhet has been taken note of, and action has been taken by the Cantt Board to completely close the drain. The police have also issued a challan of Rs 5000 to the concerned person. No written complaint was given in this case. Currently, the dirty/sewer water is not being discharged into the rivulet/stream at the site. The video is being shared with comments about a particular community, which can have an adverse effect on social harmony. Therefore, all social media users/group admins should pay attention to this matter and refrain from making any such comment viral on social media that can adversely affect communal/social harmony. Otherwise, necessary legal action will be taken against the concerned user/group admin. The Almora Police is vigilant on all social media platforms."
Logically Facts contacted Ranikhet station house officer Naseer Hussain, who said, "The incident was not communal and that the person seen in the video and the person filming it belong to the same community." He added that prompt action was taken against the accused after the complaint was received, resulting in a fine of ₹5,000 being imposed. He further stated, "This was a dispute between a tenant and his neighbor, and an FIR has been filed by the tenant against the neighbor."
An incident involving a dispute between two neighbors has been falsely shared with a communal angle. The Uttarakhand Police have confirmed that there was no communal angle involved and that none of the people involved are Bangladeshi Muslims or Rohingya refugees. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.