Fact-Check: The viral claim of Hindu woman gang-raped in Bangladesh is false.

Recently, a claim that ‘a Hindu woman was gang-raped by Muslims in Bangladesh’ circulated online, accompanied by a video. The X-posts claimed that the woman was abducted and then gang-raped. These claims have been circulating on social media platforms, including X (see some posts here, here, here, here, and here).

The viral claim

Fact-check 

An investigation by Rumor Scanner reveals the abduction and rape claim to be false. The video actually shows a Hindu woman being assaulted in a land dispute incident from October last year, not sexually assaulted or raped. Despite the family reporting the assault, no sexual violence or rape allegations were made.

We examined the viral video, which includes a Bengali voiceover by the woman’s son, alleging that his mother was beaten over a land issue, with no mention of rape.

A search for the video found the same video in a post dated October 20, 2023, on a Facebook page named Sanatan TV. The caption of the video reads, “Miscreants attacked the mother of Sahdev Roy, president of Hatia Upazila Hindu Parishad of Noakhali.”

Also, this video was posted on several other Facebook pages and IDs on the same day. A review of all the posts found allegations of beatings and assaults, but no mention of rape.

Screenshot From Sanatan TV FB page 

Further investigation found a detailed report about the incident published on October 20, 2023, in Bangladesh’s leading Bangla media daily Prothom Alo titled “Allegation of attack on Hindu Parishad leader’s mother in Hatia.” The victim’s son, the president of Upazila Hindu Parishad, also shared this news report on his Facebook ID.

According to the report, “In Ward No. 4 of Noakhali’s Hatia upazila, Sonadia Union, there has been an allegation of an attack on Parul Rani Sheel, the mother of Upazila Hindu Parishad President Sahdev Roy. Sahdev Roy complained that the local man named Mahtab Hossain has been trying to grab some of their land for a long time. However, Mahtab failed to take over due to the intervention of the Chairman of the Union Parishad. He was furious about it. As a result, when his mother went out for a walk in the morning, Mahtab attacked her with a group of people. At that time, hearing the screams, he rescued his mother and admitted her to the hospital.

When questioned, the accused Mahtab Hossain denied the allegations of assault and beating. He stated that there was some trouble with the woman’s family regarding land, which was settled by the UP Chairman. According to him, when the woman saw him and ran away, she fell down and was injured. He claims he did not beat her.

Hatia Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Jisan Ahmed told Prothom Alo that he visited the scene. No one informed him about the dispute between the two parties over the land. However, there was an argument between the two about the woman’s poultry going to the neighbor Mahtab. The woman may have been injured during this altercation. The accused could not be found at the scene. If the family of the injured woman submits a written complaint, action will be taken after an investigation.”

In summary, the Hindu woman in the video was beaten or sustained injuries during a dispute over land or a scuffle related to poultry in October 2023. However, certain Indian X handles shared this video with a false gang-rape claim, adding a communal angle to the narrative. Therefore, the circulating claim on social media that the Hindu woman in the video was abducted and gang-raped is entirely false.

Sources

  • Old upload of the video 
  • News report of the incident 
RS Team
RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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