English, Fake News

Video of a Weeping Child pilgrim seeking police to help find his father in Sabarimala shared with a misleading narrative


A video is being shared on social media claiming that the visuals show the plight of Hindu devotees in Kerala, where even the young pilgrims were taken into custody by the Kerala police. The footage shows a young Ayyappa devotee crying with folded hands in front of police. A few users tweeted the video explicitly claiming that the boy was taken into custody by the Kerala police. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.  

Claim: Video of a young Hindu pilgrim being taken into custody by the Kerala police.

Fact: The footage shows a weeping child pilgrim urging police to locate his father, who reportedly got separated from him in the crowded area of Nilakkal. The child was reunited with his father immediately by the police. The presence of the KSRTC logo on the bus indicates that the child was on a Kerala government bus, not in a police van. The video does not show Kerala police taking a child pilgrim into custody and there is no communal angle to the incident. Hence, the claim made in the post is Misleading.

When we searched for the video using relevant keywords, we found the same video in a tweet published by the ‘Asianet Newsable’ on 12 December 2023. This news channel reported it as the heart-wrenching visuals of a crying child pilgrim seeking help to find his father in Sabarimala.

‘Asianet News’ published an article reporting the complete details of the incident. According to the article, the footage shows a child weeping in front of police to locate his father, who was lost in the crowd at Nilakkal. The extended version of the video found on the ‘Asianet News’’ official YouTube channel, shows the child’s father coming to the bus immediately, and the child even waving his hand to bid goodbye.

Speaking about the incident to the media, a police officer at the Sannidhanam police station said, “The child in the viral video was reunited with his father. The video was cropped by some sections to hide the truth.”

In the extended version of the video, the child was seen boarding a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus with the number plate KL-15 A-814. The logo of KSRTC on the bus confirms that the child was sitting in a KSRTC bus, not in a police van as claimed in a few posts. From all these pieces of evidence, it can be concluded that the video shared in the post shows a child seeking police help to locate his father, reportedly separated from him in Sabarimala.

To sum it up, a video of a child pilgrim seeking police help to find his father in Sabarimala is shared with a misleading narrative.


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