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Visuals of a man stabbing a woman in West Bengal’s Murshidabad are shared with a false love jihad narrative

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A social media post accompanying the video of a man stabbing a woman lying on a road is being widely circulated attributing a love jihad narrative to the incident. The description associated with the video reads ‘Love Jihad case Baharampur, Murshidabad. Hindu girl refuse to accept His religion of peace so he stabbed her in public’. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim associated with the video shared in the post.

Claim: Love Jihad – visuals of a Muslim man stabbing a Hindu girl in West Bengal’s Berhampore.

Fact: The visuals show a 22 year old man stabbing a woman, who was in relationship with him earlier in Bengal’s Berhampur area. As per the police and the news reports, both the victim and accused are Hindus and there in no Love Jihad or communal angle to the incident. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Google search with relevant keywords yielded news reports of the incident that carried the same details as in the viral post (here & here). According to these reports ‘a 20-year-old woman was hacked to death by a young man in front of a women’s hostel at Berhampore in Murshidabad district’. Further, the article reported that ‘the victim was in relationship with the accused, but later the girl walked out of the relationship and came to Berhampore for her studies‘.

These articles identified the victim as Sutapa Chowdhury, a third-year student at Berhampore Girls’ College, and the accused as 22-year-old Sushanta Chowdhury of Malda district. These names imply that both the victim and accused belong to the same religion and are Hindus.

One of these articles even reported the victim’s father saying ‘Sushanta met Sutapa around three years ago and had been in a relationship with her. But they broke up later. As my daughter stopped talking to him, Sushanta started blackmailing, threatening, and intimidating her. We sought the local councilor’s help to make him [Sushanta] understand that Sutapa wanted to continue her studies and that he shouldn’t disturb her.’

A further search yielded Bangla news reports, that had reported similar visuals (here & here).  As per these reports, the woman was shot first, and was later stabbed to death. However, these reports did not mention any love jihad angle to the incident.

Murshidabad police also tweeted identifying the accused as Susanta Chowdary. However, later the tweet was taken down. Further, the police tweet warned of legal action for spreading false rumours of love jihad related to the case.

In correspondence with Quint, the police clarified that both the victim and accused belong to the same religion and that there is no love jihad angle involved in the incident. The FIR filed in the case can be viewed here. Thus the available information suggests that there is no love jihad angle to the incident.

To sum it up, visuals of a man stabbing a woman in West Bengal’s Murshidabad are being shared attributing a false love jihad angle.

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