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Video of Teenager Falsely Accused of Child-lifting Shared to Add Fuel to the Rumour

Earlier, a similar video of a mentally challenged man beaten by a mob in Rajasthan was circulated to spread the rumours about child-kidnapper on the prowl in the state.

Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt tweeted a video of a boy, who is tied to a pole by a rope, with a message, “ये तो एक छोटा सा प्यादा है मानव अंगों की तस्करी का, इस जैसे कितने लोग लगे हैं इस घृणित कार्य में। (He is just a small pawn in the abominable work of human organ trafficking -translated)”. The boy is being held hostage by a mob led by a man filming the incident. In the video, the man claims that the boy himself has confessed of being a child-lifter. At the time of writing this article, the tweet garnered more than 1,200 retweets.

The video is also shared on YouTube with the same narrative.

On August 19, Facebook page Live news 24/7 posted the video with a similar narrative in Kannada.

Fact-check

Listening to the conversation, we could figure out that the youth was accused of child-kidnapping and the incident took place near a toll booth. Alt News did a keyword search, टोल बच्चा चोरी”, on Facebook and found an article published by a local news website named Krishannews. According to this report, a boy named Sonu Shrivas was captured and beaten-up by Ankit Balmiki and his friends near a Toll Plaza over suspicion of him being a child-kidnapper. They had made a video of the whole incident and circulated it on social media with child-kidnapping rumours. On August 14, 2019, Amar Ujala reported that the teenager was waiting for a bus when Ankit along with his friends came to the spot and falsely accused him of being a child-lifter. The incident took place near Ait, a small town of Jalaun district, UP.

As per the press note issued by Jalaun police, a case has been registered in the matter and one accused who had filmed the incident has been nabbed by the police. It said that the boy was forced to call himself a child-lifter on camera. While Amar Ujala reported that the boy was mentally-challenged, Alt News was informed by Ait police that boy had gone through a medical check-up and he is not mentally ill. The press note also finds no mention of the boy being mentally-challenged.

Moreover, we found an extended version of the video, where the boy can be seen probed by the accused. However, the narrative published along with the video is false.

In conclusion, a video of a boy taken hostage over the false suspicion of being a child-lifter was shared by Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt with the false claim that the boy is a human organ trafficker. Earlier, a similar video of a mentally challenged man beaten by a mob in Rajasthan was circulated to spread the rumours about child-kidnapper on the prowl in the state. According to a report by Aaj Tak, at least 20 incidents of innocent people being beaten-up over suspicion of child-kidnapping were recently reported only in Bihar’s Patna. These incidents have led to the killing of two people in the region. Alt News has compiled several instances of videos and images which are propagated with the child-kidnapping rumour to inject credibility. Social media users should act responsibly when they come across videos alleging child-lifting and avoid sharing them without proper verification.

This article was first published at Alt News.

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