False claim of patients being killed in Karnataka to make beds vacant goes viral; Fact Check

In a 0:30 minute-long Kannada video, a woman claims that patients are being killed every day to make beds vacant and available to people. She claims that “7 people are killed everyday” to make beds available. The news package has two visuals to substantiate the claims made by the woman. In one of the visuals, an elderly man is allegedly being choked to death by the hospital staff. In the second visual, hospital staff in scrubs is seen thrashing a patient behind curtains.

Fact Check:

Using InVID, Digiteye India team extracted the keyframes from the two visuals. We ran a reverse image search on the visuals.

Regarding the first visual of the elderly man, the visual is not from India. A reverse image search revealed that the visual is from Bangladesh. We found an article on the same on a news website, Sokaler Songbad. The article written in Bengali dates back to May 2020. It states that the deceased is Mansur Mollah, a 70-year-old man.

A rough translation of the Bengali article states that a fight broke out between the two parties on April 21 in the afternoon at Dadpur village of Boalmari police station over a children’s cricket match. The injured Munsur Mollah was taken to Boalmari Upazila Health Complex for treatment and the on-duty doctor shifted him to Faridpur District Sadar Hospital.

Later, on the morning of April 22, Mollah died at the hospital. The video of him being strangled to death was made viral on Bangladeshi social media. Boalmari Police Station OC Aminur Rahman said, “We have received a 23-second video and the investigation into the whole matter is underway, including identifying the attacker who used the mask. For now, nothing more can be said.”

A deeper keyword search on the death of Mansur Mollah reveals that he received a head injury in the youth cricket clash and he succumbed to his wounds in the hospital, as reported in this article by Prothomalo. A search on social media reveals that the video has been shared widely stating how a man is being strangled.

A more extensive search brought the team to a post by Mollah’s kin, Hasan Molla. In the Facebook post, he reiterates that Mollah was killed by a head injury. He adds pictures of Mansur Mollah with his wounds and bandages. He confirms that all the videos of him being strangled is fake because if “Molla is killed by choking his throat it must come to postmortem… the person in the video does not have bandage on his head and beard on his face, then how can this video be Munsoor Molla, the video is completely fabricated”.

The next visual is of hospital staff thrashing a patient behind curtains. In the video itself, it is mentioned in the left-hand corner that the visual is from Patiala, Punjab.

Reverse image search confirms the CCTV footage from Punjab. Punjab Kesari reports that the patient was suffering from depression after his mother’s demise. The patient’s brother says that he had asked for water for a second time after which the hospital staff misbehaved. The incident is from August 2020.

The Tribune reports that the accused have been identified as Gurdeep Singh and Mohammed Rahul, staff members of Prime Hospital. The police have booked them under Sections 323 and 342 of the IPC.

The Karnataka Police have also called the 0:30 minutes long video false.

The police state that the video originated from an Instagram account of Mahanayak Kannada. The page has already deleted the video and the account admin has duly apologised and clarified about the video as fake and edited by someone with malicious intent.

Claim:

Patients in Karnataka being killed to provide vacant beds.

Rating:

The first visual is from Bangladesh while the second from Punjab. Both the visuals have no relation to COVID-19. Our rating – Misrepresentation.

About Snigdha Nalini

Snigdha Nalini is an intern with Digiteye India and a student of journalism at the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), Pune. She can be reached at admin@digiteye.in.

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