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4 Jan, 2020 05:17

Indians jeer after Pakistani PM tweets & deletes ‘Indian police Muslim pogrom’ clip... filmed in Bangladesh

Indians jeer after Pakistani PM tweets & deletes ‘Indian police Muslim pogrom’ clip... filmed in Bangladesh

An attempted jab at India by Pakistani PM Imran Khan backfired after a video posted to his Twitter account, purportedly showing Indian police carrying out an anti-Muslim “pogrom,” turned out to be fake.

A series of three videos (since removed) were posted to Khan’s account on Friday, with the PM claiming they showed a brutal crackdown on India’s Muslims by local police.

The first video, captioned “Indian police's pogrom against Muslims in UP [Uttar Pradesh]” was particularly gruesome – it showed what appeared to be riot police beating up “civilians” with sticks and shooting at them as they bled.

Eagle-eyed users promptly pointed out, however, that the video was not what Khan or those handling his account claimed it to be. Upon closer inspection, it turned out the video was not even shot in India. Ever-vigilant online sleuths determined it showed the Bangladeshi Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) counter-terrorist police force cracking down on an Islamist group in the country’s capital city, Dhaka seven years ago. It could be argued that it was relatively easy to trace back the origins of the footage, since the uniforms and insignias of the RAB are visible in the video.

The mix-up did not go unnoticed by the Indian part of the Twittersphere, including by the country’s law enforcement, as the Uttar Pradesh police soon tagged Khan in a post with a link to the original video from Bangladesh.

India’s envoy to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, joined in the criticism. The diplomat shared a video compilation of Khan’s posts, accompanying it with the caption “Repeat Offenders” and the hashtag #oldhabitsdiehard.

The video stayed on Khan’s Twitter for about an hour before it was pulled without any explanation. Two others, dubbed ‘Indian Police attacking Muslims as part of Modi Govt's ethnic cleansing’, remained online for a little longer but ultimately vanished as well.

One of these two clips was later traced back to a November 2019 farmers’ protests in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh. 

It was not immediately clear whether or not the third video was authentic.

The incident sparked a storm of mockery and criticism from Indian netizens, as they took to the social media platform to vent their anger – or amusement in some cases – over Khan’s apparent social media faux pas.

Some said he should hire a better social media team – implying that the mishap will see the current one given the boot.

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