On 12th July 2019 a Facebook user named Azamgarh Express posted a video. Its heading said “today the children of Madarassa in Unnao were made victims of hatred. This incident happened when the children were playing cricket in Madarassa. They were allegedly beaten up and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram. This is new India and if you remain quiet will be also be targeted. Don’t think that you can escape.” In this video, some boys can be heard saying that they were beaten because they refused to chant Jai Shri Ram. One boy was terribly injured because his head was smashed.  Through this video, it has been asserted that in UP’s Unnao, some children were forced to chanted Jai Shri Ram and they were beaten up when they refused to chant. This video is being widely spread on different social media platforms and it received around 4500 reactions until the facts were checked. 

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Were the students of Madarassa in Unnao, UP forced to chant the slogan of Jai Shri Ram? Lets do a reality check 

We started our investigation searching for news related to this incident. As a result, we found many news articles from different media regarding this case.  We met SHO of Kotwali, Unnao Police station Shri Dinesh Mishra. He said “In this incident in Unnao, nobody was forced to chant any religious slogan. This dispute started while playing cricket.  While playing, children indulged in a brawl and it turned violent.”

He further added, “On Thursday, three children of Madarassa in Jama Masjid were playing cricket at the Government Inter College (GIC) cricket ground. While playing they indulged in an argument which turned into a scuffle in which some children were fainted.  A case has been filed against accused in the police station. The claims made by social media are misleading and further investigations are going on in this case.’’

This case is being linked with communal violence. We spoke to the SP of Unnao Shri Madhav Prasad Verma. He told us clearly that this brawl started with cricket. “There was a dispute between two sides over playing cricket. On 11th July 2019, two teams were clashed during a cricket match. An FIR has been filed against three people. Neither they were asked to chant any religious slogans nor there is any communal link in this case. While playing cricket, five boys were sitting in the staircase. During this time the fight took place over arguments exchanged between the boys, which further turned into a scuffle.  Local police have started probing the incident and arrested a boy named Sanket. Under FIR Serial Number 0810/2019 the accused has been arrested and a case has been registered under sections 323, 352, 504 and 506 of the IPC.”

We were also told that in the viral video, on 7th second, we can hear some people instructing those children “stand up and speak what you have been told to”

Unnao police issued a press release in which we were informed about the preliminary investigation of this case in written.

According to the police, the results of the investitaion proves that this incident happened when the boys were playing cricket and they got involved in a dispute over cricket match . This aforementioned viral video has no religious direction and mislead by the social media. 

When we searched for this case in the twitter handle of Police Officer Unnao Police Uttar Pradesh, we found a tweet issue by him. It was mentioned in the tweet that “this byte is by Area Officer, under the UP Police station Kotwali region, regarding violence between children playing cricket in GIS ground.” A video has been uploaded in this tweet. 

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You can view the clarification related to this matter by Unnao Police through a tweet. 

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Conclusion:  After investigating the facts we ascertain that the above mentioned claims are false.  In this case, dispute between children is took place over arguments related to the cricket match they were playing. There is no communal angel in it. Nobody was told to chant religious slogans. This misleading video is being spread with false claim to trigger communal tension. This occurrence is not related to communalism in any way.  

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Title:Dispute amongst children on a playground in Unnao, UP was given a communal angle with false narrative.

Fact Check By: Ruchika M 

Result: False