Screenshopt of the doctored Whatsapp video spreading mob lynching in India | Commons
A screenshot of the doctored Whatsapp video | Commons
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The clip that led to a mob frenzy across India and resulted in several deaths was intended to spread awareness on street abductions in Pakistan.

New Delhi: It was envisaged as an educative clip to save lives in Karachi, but an edited version has ended up fuelling wild rumours of child-trafficking rings, resulting in frenzied mob attacks across India, which have so far claimed several lives since 29 May.

The video, which appears to be at least a year old, was meant to be the reconstruction of a kidnapping and intended to spread awareness among parents on how easy it is to abduct an unsuspecting child in the streets of Karachi.

A doctored version, in which the message for parents has been edited out, has gone viral in India as a WhatsApp forward, leading to the violence. The edited version plainly shows two men on a bike snatching a young boy playing on the streets.

What it hides (which is in the original clip) is the two men returning to the spot and placing the child back. The original clip ends with one of the men holding up a sign that reads, “It takes only a moment to kidnap a child from the streets of Karachi.” It also contains the text that states, “Every year, over 3,000 children go missing in Karachi, Pakistan. Keep an eye on your child.”

‘Made video to help society’

The original video was created by the Karachi-based ad agency, Spectrum Y&R, for an NGO working towards the prevention of child abduction and trafficking.

Asrar Alam, the agency’s shocked creative director, while speaking to the BBC, said, “It was very devastating and shocking for me. I wonder how the man who faked this video faces the world every day.”

The video was produced for NGO Roshni Helpline. “We made this video to help society. But it is being used wrongly and people are dying. We condemn this. Whoever is responsible for this should be prosecuted,” said Muhammad Ali, President of Roshni Helpine.

Separate fact from fiction, the real from the fake going viral on social media, on HoaXposed .

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