No, this video does not show people in Kashmir fleeing as India-Pakistan war begins

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on March 6, 2019 at 07:30
  • 3 min read
  • By AFP Pakistan
A video that has been viewed more than a million times on Facebook purportedly shows people in Kashmir fleeing to safety after war between India and Pakistan begins. The claim is false; the footage has circulated online since 2017. 

The misleading videos, for example this one which has been viewed 230,000 times, were posted to Facebook February 26, 2019 -- the same day that India announced it had conducted airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Here is an AFP report on the Indian airstrikes.

The misleading post’s Bengali language caption says: “India Pakistan war begins. The people of Kashmir are moving to safer places.”

The footage shows thousands of people running and walking across mountain terrain, some carrying bags or sticks.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading video:

Screenshot of misleading video

The video was also posted here where it received 1.5 million views before the content was taken down, and here where it was viewed 28,000 times since being posted February 27, 2019. ​

The word “lajimbudha” can be seen in orange lettering at the bottom right hand corner of the misleading video.

Screenshot of misleading video

AFP searched YouTube for “lajimbudha” and found this channel, which has 149,000 subscribers.

The channel has posted hundreds of short videos, mostly of life in Nepal. Lajimbudha has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts under the same name.

The videos posted by lajimbudha have had 59,969,825 total views since the account was created on March 16, 2012 according to YouTube.

The exact same footage as is used in the misleading Facebook posts was uploaded to YouTube by lajimbudha on November 26, 2017 here where it has been viewed more than 2.1 million times.

The title reads: “Run in the Himalaya || यार्सा खोजनेहरु || yarsagumba ||” which means “Yarsa seekers” in Nepali.

The original video’s caption reads: “villagers go to highland to get yarsha at the beginning of Nepali month Jestha. They spent their around one month.”

Yarsa and yarsha are references to Yarsagumba, a high-altitude wild fungus prized for its aphrodisiac qualities.

Below are screenshots comparing the misleading 2019 footage (left) and the 2017 “Run in the Himalaya” video (right):


Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us