One of our readers sent us a video of torture of inmates by officials on our WhatsApp number 9049046809 for verification. The video was followed by a message that read as follows:
“The camp of detention.
Modi’s counterfeit report.
Death by brutal torture.
To live as human beings;
Are they still too lazy to fight for freedom?”
We searched for similar posts on social media and found a number of posts with the video. Let us check the context and different narratives of this video on social media.
Context and Narrative on Social Media
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently spoke on a variety of issues in a rally organized by BJP in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on December 22. While addressing a massive crowd gathered at Ramlila Maidan, PM Modi blamed the opposition for misleading the country on the issue of CAA and NRC. He also claimed that, there are no detention centers in India. In the video clip given below, the Prime Minister can be heard saying that detention centers in India are mere rumors and nothing else.
However, many a media organizations and fact checking websites have refuted this claim made by PM Modi.
In the backdrop of this event, we come across a video purportedly to be of a detention center in India. The video is circulating on Twitter and Facebook since Friday and it is getting a lot of traction on both the platforms. Given below is a tweet claiming the video to be of a detention center in India:
We found similar posts on Facebook as well. The video given below is shared with a caption in Malayalam that translates to “Visuals from Detention Centers. Modi’s claims are busted. People are suffering from such cruelty in these detention centers and eventually dying. Is there anyone who is still reluctant to revolt for the sake of freedom of these human beings?”
Is it really a detention center in India as alleged or something else? Let us find out the reality of the incident in the video.
If we take a close look at the top left corner of the video, we can see the logo of a channel. The logo is of a Sri Lankan digital media platform called Lanka Truth.com. In the screenshot given below, the logo of the channel is highlighted at the top left corner. You can compare it with the logo of Lanka Truth and find them to be identical.
We found the Facebook page of Truth Lanka.Com and searched for the viral video. On 16 January 2019, Truth Lanka.Com has published the video with a caption in Sinhalese, which translates to, “Assault in Angunakolapelessa prison”. The caption further read, “CCTV footage of inhuman assault on Angunakolapelessa prison inmates.” Angunakolapessa prison is situated in southern Sri Lankan district of Hambantota.
We contacted our Sri Lankan team who confirmed that the incident seen in the video is the abuse of inmates in Angunakolapessa prison. We also came across news articles published by several leading English news websites in Sri Lanka regarding this incident. Following are some of the news reports published in leading news websites of Sri Lanka.
|Daily Mirror Lanka||Colombo Telegraph|
|Sunday Observer||Asia Times|
As per news reports, in January 2019, CCTV footage of inhumanly abuse of inmates in Angunakolapessa prison were leaked. The incident reportedly, took place on 22 November 2018. The reports say that the inmates at Angunakolapessa prison had participated in a protest against strip search allegedly conducted in the prison premises in October 2018. News reports suggest that the attack on the inmates was an act of retribution by jail officials against the prisoners who participated in the protest.
The video viral on social media as detention center in India is actually from Sri Lanka. The viral video is actually the CCTV footage of assault on inmates in a Sri Lankan Prison in Angunakolapelessa prison. Hence, the claims made about the viral video on Twitter and Facebook are baseless.
Title:FAKE ALERT: CCTV Footage of Abuse in Sri Lankan Prison Passed Off as Detention Camp in India.Fact Check By: Harish Nair