Hyderabad: Recently, a young man who was accused of stealing cows was beaten to death in Assam's Tinsukia district. This led to several social media users tweeting and attaching news reports to spread awareness on the issue.


One such user was C.J. Werleman, the global correspondent for Byline Times. He attached a news report by The Wire about the incident. However, the text of the tweet contained false information as Werleman claimed that the victim was a Muslim. The tweet was shared 451 times and several Twitter users were confused with the introduction of a communal angle.(archive)

Fact Check:

The claim that the victim is Muslim is false.

NewsMeter read the article by The Wire attached to the tweet and found nothing that stated that the victim was a Muslim. No other news reports that covered the incident stated that the victim was a Muslim. The man was identified as Sarat Moran, who hailed from Kordoiguri village in Assam. Clearly, the name suggested that the man was a Hindu and not a Muslim.

He was beaten to death at a village in Tinsukia by a mob who accused him of being a cow thief. The police formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the case and have already picked up suspects from the village. (Source: India Today, First Post)

Responding to Werleman's tweet, the special director general of Assam police, G.P. Singh, tweeted, "The person who lost his life on allegations of suspected theft is a Hindu person." Singh also suggested he take corrective measures with reference to the tweet after independent verification of the facts.

Hence, it is clear that the incident doesn't have a communal angle and that the victim is not a Muslim.

Thus, the claim is false.

Claim Review :   Victim in Assam cow theft incident was a Muslim
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  False

Misha Rajani

Misha Rajani is a Fact Checker at NewsMeter. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Francis College for Women. She has written a thesis on “ Role of social media in highlighting injustice”. Apart from pursuing a career in news writing, Misha is also skilled in graphic designing. You can follow Misha on Twitter @misharajani00

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