A video showing a man attacking another man with a rod is doing rounds on social media claiming that it is from India along with a narrative that suggests a communal angle. It is being claimed that the attacker belongs to the Muslim community and he is attacking a man from the Hindu community. It is also being claimed that Hindus are not safe in India. The video is part of a CCTV footage recorded on 22nd February 2021.
Fact Crescendo received this video for verification on our WhatsApp Fact Line number 9049053770 claiming that the video is from Chennai, India. We also received this video over our email with a communal angle claiming that the attacker belongs from the Muslim community and the victim is from the Hindu community. It further states that this is the current condition in India.
This video has also been shared with a communal angle on Twitter by activist Sonam Mahajan’s verified handle.
We started our investigation by observing the video carefully and found that people in the background are speaking in Sinhala and Eelam Tamil. In addition, we found that the auto, which arrives later on to rescue the victim, is not from India.
We broke the video into smaller key frames and conducted a Google reverse image search, through which we found that Sinhalese users on Facebook have uploaded the same video claiming that the incident is from Galaha, Deltota, Sri Lanka. Another Facebook user claimed that the incident took place on 22nd February 2021 in Deltota town when a Muslim man attacked an unsuspecting Sinhalese man.
Next, Fact Crescendo Sri Lanka contacted the acting OIC of Galaha Police Station, Mr. Rodrigo who confirmed us that the video is indeed from Sri Lanka. Galaha police station comes under Gampola District Police Division.
He said, “There is no religious reason behind the attack. The attacker in the video is mentally unstable and is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. He confirmed that the person has had a history of mental disorders and he is currently under custody. The man attacking hails from the Muslim community and the victim is a Sinhala Buddhist man.”
In addition, some people in Sinhala have shared information that the incident reported in this video took place in the Galaha area of Kandy and that the person is a mentally unstable person. However, neither the leading Sinhala media nor the Eelam Tamil media has reported on this.
Below is the link to a Facebook post published in Sinhala language.
Conclusion- Fact Crescendo found the viral post on social media to be False. The viral video is in fact not from India ,but is from Sri Lanka where a mentally unstable man attacked a Sinhalese Buddhist man. This incident has no religious motive behind it.
UPDATE (03/03/2021)- Fact Crescendo Sri Lanka contacted a local shopkeeper (Vijayaluxmi Stores) in the area who confirmed us the exact location to be Peradeniya-Deltota-Rikiligaskada Rd in Deltota from Sri Lanka.
Below you can view the Google Street view version of the location
You can also see a comparison image between the location and screengrab from the viral video.
One can also see the similarity between the autos seen on Google Street View and the viral video. It is very clear that such autos are not seen in India and thus the video is from Sri Lanka.
Title:This Video of man attacking a person with a rod from Sri Lanka is going viral as a hate crime in India.Fact Check By: Aavya Ray