(Source: Social media screenshots)
(Source: Social media screenshots)

Fact Check: Does viral video show Asaduddin Owaisi mistreating man from Bohra community?

The viral video is shared with a misleading claim.

A video of Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, has gone viral on social media. In the video, a man is seen shaking hands with Owaisi and when he tries to kiss the hand, Owaisi jerks his hand back.

The video is shared with a caption claiming that the man was from the Bohra community and that he was ill-treated because he belonged to a different sect.

A social media user shared the video with a caption that reads, “कौन कहता है इन लोगों मे उच-नीच और छुआछूथ नहीं होती? अपने बैरिस्टर साहब को ही देख़ लों..! एक बोहरा कम्युनिटी के इंसान को यहीं सबक सिखने को मिला..! इस से अच्छा तो इन लोगों ने घर वापसी कर लेनी चाहिए..! आप की क्या राय है..?” (Who says there is no discrimination and untouchability among these people? Just look at the barrister, sir! A person from the Bohra community learned a lesson here! It would be better for these people to convert back to Hinduism. What’s your opinion?”)

Similar posts can be seen here and here.

Fact check

SouthCheck found that the claim is misleading. The man in the viral video comes from the Sunni community, not the Bohras.

On closely observing the video, we found a watermark that mentioned Dinesh Bohra on it. Taking a hint, we searched with appropriate keywords and found the same story uploaded by a reporter, Dinesh Bohra, who claimed to be a reporter on March 12, 2023. The video was shared with a caption that reads, “Barmer में कार्यकर्ताओं पर क्यों गुस्सा हो गए असदुद्दीन ओवैसी..? वीडियो में देखिए..!” (Asaduddin Owaisi gets angry with party workers in Barmer.”)

We then reached out to Dinesh Bohra through his Facebook profile to find out more details. He said, “The person who is shaking hands with Owaisi is a worker from Barmer. He is not a Bohra. Netaji became upset because, despite the prohibition, people were showering flowers, and an unexpected crowd suddenly reached very close, extending hands for selfies. The situation was getting out of control, and it was necessary to proceed with the rally.”

However, after contacting him, Dinesh Bohra made the video private.

We then contacted AIMIM’s office to find out more about the video. They helped us get in contact with the person in the video. The man in the video said that his name was Piru Khan Junaid Jahan, and he was from Balmer. He further clarified that he was a Sunni Muslim and not a Bohra Muslim. He also said that he tried to kiss Owaisi’s hand out of respect for someone with a mighty stature. However, Owaisi removed his hands because he did not like being treated like someone of a higher stature. He also sent us a video explaining his version, which can be seen here.

We further contacted an Islamic scholar to get an understanding of the gesture in Islamic culture. Moulana Hafez Mohammed Waliullah Shareef, an Islamic scholar in Hyderabad, said, “In Islamic culture, people kiss the hands of those whom they consider mighty. This gesture is mostly towards those who have achieved priesthood.”

We inferred from this that the kissing on the hand is a gesture towards a person of high stature. Owaisi might have removed his hand as a gesture to say that he should not be considered someone of high stature.

We also found a 6-year-old video in which Owaisi also pulled back his hand when then home minister of Telangana, Nayini Narasimha Reddy, tried to kiss his hands during an Iftar party.

Hence, we can say that the viral post is misleading and there is no communal angle to it.

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