Fact Check: Videos of young men harassing women at two Tamil Nadu colleges FALSELY given communal twist

A video of young men rashly riding bikes and hooting as they allegedly barge through the gates of a women’s college has been doing the rounds on social media.

 Those sharing the video claimed that it showed Muslim men harassing Hindu women in Tamil Nadu. 

Those sharing the video claimed that it showed Muslim men harassing Hindu women in Tamil Nadu. 

By Fact Check Bureau:

A video of young men rashly riding bikes and hooting as they allegedly barge through the gates of a women’s college has been doing the rounds on social media. The video captured utter chaos as young women on the road ran away from the men, who could be seen thrashing an old man on the road later in the video. Those sharing the video claimed that it showed Muslim men harassing Hindu women in Tamil Nadu.

Tweeting the video, a person wrote, “No, these are not behind the scenes (BTS) of a Bollywood movie where hero ends up saving the girls. This is happening at a women’s college in Tamil Nadu, where Muslim boys are eve-teasing Hindu girls. This is what a state without law and order and Muslim appeasement looks like.”

Another Twitter user made a similar claim about the incident, tagging K. Annamalai, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, requesting him to help the women. Archives of similar posts can be found here, here, and here.

AFWA found that this video shows two different incidents in Tamil Nadu, both of which had no communal angle to them. Police constables from both areas have confirmed this.

The viral video also used footage from two different incidents — one in which bikers trespassed into a women’s college, and the other where men beat up a man who had come to pick his daughter up from the college. We will cover them one by one.

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Trespassing into girls’ college

We first ran a reverse search of the first part of the viral video. This led us to a news report published by the Times of India on November 5, featuring a keyframe from the viral video.

According to the report, on October 30, nine men were arrested by the Madurai city police who forcibly entered the Lady Doak College in Madurai’s Tallakulam on Thevar Jayanthi. The young bikers reportedly harassed the students as well as assaulted a college security guard. Nowhere in this report could we find the mention of the young men being Muslim.

We found a video news report about this incident on Thanthi TV, a Tamil News Channel. The video showed boys gesticulating wildly as they barged through the gates on two-wheelers, hooting and screaming — the visuals as seen at the beginning of the viral video. This confirms that the first part of the video indeed shows the Lady Doak College incident.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police for Madurai North told ANI on November 5 that ten people had been arrested following the incident, out of whom five were college students. Apart from that, police also seized four two-wheelers. Here as well, there was no mention of the men’s religion.

The thrashing of a student’s father

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The latter part of the viral video shows an old man being beaten up by a group of men. A reverse search of a keyframe from this part led us to a tweet by ANI that contained the same clip. According to it, on November 2, a group of young men assaulted a parent who had come to pick up his daughter from Sri Meenakshi Government Arts College in Madurai’s Sellur.

The ANI news report on this incident stated that six out of the seven people involved were arrested for assaulting a 50-year-old man. The man had asked the boys to pass quietly as a funeral procession was passing by. No communal angle was mentioned in this case as well.

As per the Commissioner of Police T. Senthil Kumar, the parents of the young men involved in both incidents would be counselled and patrolling in the surrounding areas would also be strengthened.

AFWA contacted India Today’s Madurai stringer Marisami, who gave us the press releases of both incidents that mentioned the names of the culprits involved and those arrested in these cases. The press release for the Lady Doak College incident can be found here, and that for the Meenakshi College incident can be found here. This information was also shared on the Facebook page of the Madurai City Police, and can be found here and here.

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Moreover, AFWA reached out to police constables in Sellur and Tallakulam. Both confirmed there was no communal angle in the two incidents and all those arrested for creating a ruckus in the colleges were non-Muslims.

Thus, it is clear that two separate incidents were conflated and falsely shared with a communal spin on social media.

(Written by Sanjana Saxena, with inputs from Marisami)

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