Misleading: Video of physical assault on woman in Pakistan given a false communal spin

By: Shreyashi Roy
September 2 2022

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Misleading: Video of physical assault on woman in Pakistan given a false communal spin


The Verdict Misleading

The incident occurred over a land dispute, and both the victim and perpetrators were from the same religious community. There was no communal angle.

Claim ID 7c845833


A video of a woman being dragged on the ground and then kicked and beaten brutally by a group of people is going viral on social media. The 81-second-long video is being shared with the claim that the woman is a Hindu being tortured by Muslims and that the incident occurred in Pakistan. Popular news channel Zee Hindustan also shared the video claiming that it showed atrocities against Hindus, the minority community in Pakistan. Actor Manoj Joshi, as well as geopolitical and strategic affairs analyst Divya Kumar Soti, quote tweeted the video with a similar narrative, criticizing Pakistan for mistreating Hindus.

However, the claim is false. The woman was attacked over a land dispute. There is no communal angle in the matter.

In Fact

We came across a news article by Pakistani news publisher Geo News from January 2022, which carried the video. Speaking to Geo News, the woman seen in the video said that the incident occurred over a long-standing land dispute, adding that the perpetrators dragged her to the town square and beat her. The report also said that the incident had taken place in Pakistan's Sialkot and that police had registered a case against 15 people and arrested nine. 

Further searches took us to a news report by Dawn, which identified the woman as Munawar Kanwal and the accused as Arif, Timor Qasim, Noor Hussain, Haider Ali, Mubashir Ali, Zeeshan Ali, Asad Ali, Sajjad Hussain, and Yasmin Bibi. The report added that the incident started as a land dispute, over which two rival groups and their members clashed. In the past, the members had had several arguments. After the last, most recent altercation between Kanwal and her relative Nasreen Bibi, the latter and her relatives severely tortured the former, resulting in the incident caught on camera. According to Dawn, police had registered a case for torturing the woman over a land dispute at village Palura Kalan in Sialkot district.

We also came across a video news report by ARY News, which carried the video of the incident as well as visuals of the accused. 

In January 2022, Sialkot Police posted about the incident on their official Facebook account and said that four more accused had been arrested after the incident. They added that strict action will be taken against the accused and justice will be served to the woman. The post also said that Divisional Police Officer Umar Saeed Malik had issued orders to continue the search operation until all accused were arrested.

The incident was not a communal matter with both the victim and the perpetrators belonging to the same religious community.

The Verdict:

An old video of an incident in Pakistan's Sialkot wherein a woman was beaten by a group of people is being shared with a false communal spin. Therefore, we have marked the claim misleading.

(Editor's Note: This story was first published on September 1, 2022. It has been updated to reflect a statement from the Sialkot Police available on their Facebook page.)

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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