An India Today broadcast from 2016 with the narrative “Hindu women abducted, converted to Islam and sold for 50k rupees in Pakistan by cops” has been widely shared on social media in the past few days. The video starts with a clip of a policeman slapping a burkha-clad woman and goes on to say that women and children from Pakistan’s minority communities are abducted, sold for money and forcibly converted to Islam.
The India Today broadcast has been shared both on Twitter and Facebook, fetching thousands of views.
Alt News found India Today had used the clip of a woman being beaten by a policeman as part of a 2016 report titled “#PakHinduSOS Watch Pak Hindu woman sold for Rs 50,000 by cop”. The show was about atrocities faced by Hindus in Pakistan.
While the India Today tweet above featured a 3.30-minute video clip, the media firm did a 23.28-minute show on the topic. The clip of the woman being slapped was played through the duration of the show. At 3.14 minutes, the policeman is heard making a statement that India Today transcribed as “I will do everything. Now you are in a fix. Now you can’t escape.”
India Today also published an article on the same subject.
What’s the truth?
Alt News used InVid software to break the video into multiple frames. Reverse searching the images on Google, with the keywords “woman slapped by cop Pakistan”, brought us to media reports from 2015. According to an October 29, 2015, article in The Express Tribune, a woman allegedly caught stealing valuables from a shopping centre in Karachi had been beaten by a man wearing a police uniform. The incident had taken place at the Gulf Shopping Mall in Clifton, and the man slapping the woman had been arrested by the police.
Another report on the Pakistani website The News said “a man dressed in a police uniform’s shirt in the video was remanded to police officials by the judicial magistrate”.
Media organisation Samaa, however, reported the incident differently. While the claim of the woman being a shoplifter was identical, Samaa reported that the man slapping her was a “volunteer cop”. He had reportedly beaten the woman to force a confession out of her.
On watching the video carefully, the man can be heard saying, “Tu kaise nahi manegi. Vo sab maani hai. Sab baramad karaya hai.” How will you not confess? They all confessed. We recovered everything.
Similar words were reported by Pakistani media outlet Geo TV. According to their report, the man – a guard employed with a company – said to the woman, “Now I will see how she does not confess to the theft and does not return the stolen items.” This was not the transcription provided by India Today.
The video of the incident first appeared on the internet in 2015. India Today’s reportage on atrocities faced by Pakistani Hindus came a year later. The media outlet included a wrong video that it played multiple times through its show. While there are multiple reports of forced conversions, especially from the Sindh province of Pakistan, including the 2012 instance involving Manisha Kumari, as mentioned in the India Today broadcast, the video clip of the uniformed man hitting a woman has no connection with religious conversions.
This article first appeared on Alt News.