An old video from Assam is being widely circulated across social media platforms with a claim that Bangladeshi Muslims in Assam are demanding a separate country. In the video, a group of men (some with skull caps) can be seen protesting holding banners and placards.
The caption along with the video reads “*परम आदरणीय असम के मुख्यमंत्री हिंदू हृदय सम्राट हेमंत विश्व शर्मा जी ने बांग्लादेशियों की तबीयत से ठुकाई करवाई। क्यों??? ये जानने के लिए वीडियो देखें” (Translation: Hindu Hriday Samrat Hemant Biswa Sarma, the respected Chief Minister of Assam, got the Bangladeshi’s beaten up. why??? Watch the video to know.) Archived
*परम आदरणीय असम के मुख्यमंत्री हिंदू हृदय सम्राट हेमंत विश्व शर्मा जी ने बांग्लादेशियों की तबीयत से ठुकाई करवाई। क्यों??? ये जानने के लिए वीडियो देखें🔥🔥🙏🙏🚩🚩👍👍*👆🏻 pic.twitter.com/Ko8TvjlRuk
— Hariom singh Rajawat vhp (@HariomVhp) June 10, 2021
The video is viral on Facebook too with the same claim.
The video is from 2017 and Mr. Hemanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in Chief Minister of the Assam for the first time on 10 May 2021. Therefore, the claim that he got the protestors beaten up for demanding a separate country is false.
Using the InVId chrome extension, we did a reverse image search of some of the keyframes in the video. The reverse search led us to an article published on the website of the NEWSclick on 2 July 2017 titled “Muslim Youth Killed in Police Firing in Assam’s Goalpara”. According to the article, the protest was called by an Advocate Nazrul Islam on 30 June 2017 against the harassment of D(doubtful) voters by the Border Police and Foreigners Tribunals. D-voter is a special category in Assam for those who have failed to produce legal documents of their citizenship and have been disenfranchised by the Election Commission.
The article also carries one of the images we found by breaking the video into keyframes.
We also found another article published on the website of Scroll.in on 3 July 2017 titled “Muslim protestor dies in police firing in Assam’s Goalpara, the video shows policeman shot to kill”. This article also says the protest was organized against the “alleged harassment of Muslims by the state by falsely accusing them of being illegal migrants, or “D voters” as they call them in Khutamari.”
The article also carries the viral video in a better resolution. According to the article the video was shot by Hussain Ali Madani, a local political activist and “Facebook journalist”. We searched the Facebook timeline of Madni and found the video uploaded by him on 30 June 2017. We also reached out to Madni, he confirmed that he did shoot the video on the uploaded date.
The video is old and the protest was not organized to demand a separate country. Therefore the claims being made are misleading and false.