Footage of daylight murder in India's Hyderabad falsely shared as Tamil Nadu killing

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Footage of a brutal assault on a busy road in broad daylight has surfaced in social media posts that falsely claim it shows a gang in India's Tamil Nadu attacking a migrant labourer from the eastern state of Bihar. The clip was shared as reports of violence against Hindi-speaking workers in the mainly Tamil-speaking state sparked panic, despite local officials insisting the rumours were baseless. However, the attack in the video occurred in a different region of India. According to police, the man killed was a local, not a migrant worker.

Warning: graphic footage

The footage, which shows three men beating a person lying on the ground on a busy roadside, was posted on Facebook on March 4.

"Ruckus in Tamil Nadu. Those speaking Hindi in Tamil Nadu are being thrashed," the Hindi-language post says.

The video has more than 4,900 views.

Screenshot of false Facebook post, taken on March 5, 2023

Opposition to India's most widely spoken language Hindi has been a long-running political issue in Tamil Nadu, where Tamil is the official language.

Tamil Nadu officials have denied reports about a spate of attacks against migrant workers, which have sparked panic and reportedly prompted some to flee the state.

The video of the attack has also since been shared alongside similar false claims on Facebook here and here and on Twitter here.

Hyderabad attack

A reverse image search of the video found a screenshot from the clip in an article about a murder in Hyderabad, a city in Telangana state.

"Hyderabad: Brother of man killed in broad daylight demands death penalty as police identify 3 accused," reads the report published by The South First on January 23.

The video shows a 29-year-old man who was killed on January 22, The South First reported.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video shared in the false posts (left) and the screenshot image published by The South First (right):

Screenshot comparison of the video shared in the false posts (left) and the screenshot image published by The South First (right)

The New Indian Express and The Times of India also reported on the killing, publishing screenshots from the same video.

The reports identified the deceased as Jangam Sainath, a glass cutter and carpenter, who was murdered in Hyderabad's Jiyaguda area.

Inspector T Ashok Kumar from the Kulsumpura police, which oversees the area where the murder took place, refuted the claim that the video showed an attack on a migrant worker.

"The incident took place in January this year. Four people have been arrested in connection to the case. It was a case of personal enmity and all of them are locals," he told AFP.

The footage (below-left) corresponds to Google Street View images (below-right) of Jiyaguda.

Screenshot comparison of scenes from the video shared in the false post (left) and Google Street View images of Jiyaguda (right), with similarities marked by AFP

Furthermore, the registration plates on vehicles in the video feature "AP" and "TS", referring to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Hyderabad was Andhra Pradesh's capital until the separate state of Telangana was formed, and Hyderabad became the capital of the new state.

Registration plates in Tamil Nadu start with "TN".