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'Pukka Muslim' Boy Who Tore India's Flag in Viral Video Turns Out to be Hindu Prankster

The boy hand his friend have been let off with a warning.

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:August 23, 2018, 4:57 PM IST
'Pukka Muslim' Boy Who Tore India's Flag in Viral Video Turns Out to be Hindu Prankster
The boy hand his friend have been let off with a warning.

A few days after the 72nd Independence Day of India, an objectionable video started doing the rounds on social media.

In it, an apparently teenaged boy is seen holding up the flag of India. The boy goes on to proclaim himself as ‘Pakka Musalmaan’ (devout Muslim) and then shreds the flag to pieces. It was posted by a Twitter user going by the handle @AnuMishraBJP, a fake account of journalist Rohit Sradana, that is followed by at least one BJP leader, Tejinder Singh Bagga.

The video went viral on Twitter and Facebook and generated a host of communal responses. It was retweeted over 20,000 times and evoked widespread communally abusive responses. A subsequent video that also went viral depicted a mob beating and abusing the boy from the previous video. In a second version of the video, the boy is seen saying “Pukka Hindu hoon,” (I am a devout Hindu) after being beaten and abused.

All these videos were shared thousands of times, in fact even by journalists and media persons such as Sudesh Chavhanke of Sudarshan News. In fact, Chavanke went as far as to justify lynching in his defence of the abuse meted out to the boy.

However, closer inspection reveals a more complicated truth.

After getting beaten by a mob, the boy reveaed that he was not Muslim but Hindu and that the video was meant to be a prank. A report by Times of India said that authorities picked up the boy and his friend who filed the video but later let them off with a warning after the two and their families apologised.

The incident highlights once again the ease with which hate and misinformation can be spread online and also how quickly mobs can now attack an individual for their views on social media. From the above videos, it is clear that the boy in the video got beaten up soon after publsihing his prank online.

It was only after getting beaten that the boy revealed he was Hindu. Such instances of mob violence have been growing in the past few years, and if not curbed, may end up posing a serrious challenge to law and order.

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