Bangladesh has recently witnessed a spate of communal violence where Hindu temples and houses have been vandalised claiming many lives. In this backdrop, a photograph of a woman sobbing has gone viral on social media claiming that she is a victim of recent violence.
Social media users are using hashtags like “#durgapujasave #bangladeshsavehindu #attackiskcontemple” asserting that the incident relates to the recent violence in Bangladesh.
The image is being shared on Facebook with a caption in Bengali that can be roughly translated in English to, “Purnima Rani said, the attackers entered the house and wanted to know where her two young daughters are. They broke into the house and took away the money and cows and set the house on fire. #savebangladeshsanatoni #sanatonfamily #durgapujasave #bangladeshsavehindu #attackiskcontemple.”
(Original Text: পূর্ণিমা রাণী বলেন, হামলাকারীরা বাড়িতে ঢুকে তার দুই তরুণী মেয়ে কোথায়, জানতে চায়। ঘরে ঢুকে ভাঙচুর করে টাকা, গরু নিয়ে যায়। ঘরে আগুন লাগিয়ে যায়। (রংপুর, প্রথম আলো))
Here’s the link to the above post. Check similar posts here and here.
NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be MISLEADING.
Doing a simple Reverse Image Search, we found a similar image published in a news article dated November 10, 2017. The headline of the article reads, “Clash over the Facebook post, 1 killed in Rangpur.” The caption of the image reads, “A woman bursts into tears as miscreants torch her house during a clash following a Facebook post demeaning Islam in Sadar Upazila of Rangpur on November 10, 2017.”
More searches led us to a news article published on November 10, 2017, which reported the same incident carrying the same viral image. We found many news articles published in 2017 reporting the same incident.
Searching further, we did a keyword search and found that a news report published by Bangladesh’s Prothom Alo newspaper mentioned Purnima Rani’s name. According to the news report published on October 18, 2021, the miscreants attacked Hindu houses in Pirganj of Rangpur district. Houses were set on fire and money was looted.
The article further states, “Purnima Rani said the attackers entered the house and wanted to know the whereabouts of her two young daughters. The miscreants broke into the house and took away 50,000 rupees and a cow.”
The video attached with this report shows Purnima Rani. One can notice that there is no similarity between her and the image in the viral Facebook post.
Thus, it is evident from the above information that an old image from 2017 is being falsely linked to recent violence in Bangladesh. Therefore, the viral claim is misleading.
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