By: Ishita Goel
June 13 2023
The original footage contains a disclaimer stating that the video is a piece of fiction. The man in question has been part of several scripted videos.
A video of an elderly man in a kufi, white kurta, and pajama is viral with the claim that he was inappropriately touching an unconscious woman. In the video, the man, purportedly a maulvi (a learned scholar of Islamic law), chants something and appears to perform some sort of ritual on a woman lying on the floor. The man then drags the unconscious woman into a room. The person filming the video asks him was he doing, to which the “maulvi” answers in Hindi, "I am treating her; she is not able to give birth to a child/son." The video has been shared with communally charged narratives, with many users criticizing Muslim clerics for "taking advantage of women" and berating others for taking their sisters and daughters to such men.
Through reverse image search, we found an extended version of the video on Facebook. The video, which is almost 12 minutes long, had been uploaded on a page by one शेख असलम (Sheikh Aslam) on September 12, 2022, with a caption in Hindi that claimed that the "maulana (Muslim cleric)" used to give false assurances to infertile women, make them unconscious by giving them drugs, and would rape them. See the full report." However, at the 11:50 mark in the video, we noted a disclaimer in both English and Hindi which stated: "Everything in this Video is imaginary. Imaginary because reality is too bitter to be told or shown. Events shown in this are not real compared to what has actually been happening in countries like ours."
During our investigation, we found another video of the old man. The 15-minute video depicts a fictional story. Posted by ‘Abc Prank’ on Facebook on September 3, 2022, the video title read: "Boy went mad after girlfriend's marriage, old grandfather used to take care of him." The Facebook description of the page 'Abc Prank' states it is a video creator page. The description also mentions, "Abc prank Video is made only for fun, enjoy the video ."
In 2022, Mohammed Zubair, journalist and the co-founder of fact-checking outlet Alt News, had tweeted another video of the man from the viral claim. The video is a compilation of various clips; in the first clip, a young woman can be seen defending her relationship with the old man; the second clip captures a young man confronting the older man and a woman in a park; in the third clip, the old man is holding a child and says that he married the child’s mother after her husband left them; the last clip is part of the viral video in question. We also found a longer version of the third clip from the compilation on YouTube. It was uploaded in July 2022 by a user named 'Chandan Chaudhary'. Clearly, the man is not a maulvi or a Muslim cleric who 'treats' childless women inappropriately but is an actor who has been featured in several scripted videos.
This video has been circulating online with inaccurate and untrue claims since 2022 and has even been shared with communal angles. A user sharing the video wrote, “‘Khuda ka Baanda’ Mualana drugs a Hindu woman to ‘treat’ her. He was caught red-handed by Hindu activists." However, the video does not depict any real incident and is scripted. Logically Facts has previously debunked several claims centered around similar scripted videos.
The man seen in the video is not a Muslim cleric "taking advantage" of a woman while performing a ritual of some kind. The complete video carries a disclaimer stating that the video is fictional. The man has acted in several similar scripted videos. Therefore, we mark this claim false.