Bengaluru: A video circulating on social media, purportedly showing a burqa-clad woman attempting to coerce another woman into participating in "Love Jihad," has been debunked as misinformation. The video, widely shared by Right Wing accounts, including @ajaychauhan41, and others, is falsely portrayed as a case of religious conversion. Alt News has previously exposed the account @ajaychauhan41 for disseminating communal misinformation.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that the video dates back to November 2021 and originates from Karnataka's Kodagu district. The incident captured in the video involves two Muslim girls who were harassed by a group of men affiliated with Hindutva groups. The men accused the girls of engaging in "Love Jihad" by allegedly providing a burqa to a Christian classmate. The police investigation, however, revealed that the Christian girl had kept the burqa due to space constraints in her bag and was returning it to the Muslim girls.

According to a report by The News Minute published on November 23, 2021, the victims were threatened, slapped, and beaten by the mob, which consisted of over 30 people. The police arrested two individuals, Prajwal and Kaushik, in connection with the incident. The video captures the distressing moment when the girls were accosted by the mob, questioning them about the burqa and their backgrounds.

The victims' fathers had earlier clarified that the Muslim girls were waiting for their Christian friend to return the burqa in the evening. The Christian girl had kept the burqa for them in the morning as they had to remove it before entering their college classes. The misinformation circulating on social media falsely portrays the incident as an attempt at religious conversion when, in fact, both women shown in the video are Muslims.

This incident is part of a series of hate crimes reported in Kodagu, where individuals were targeted based on their religious identity. 

The viral video from Karnataka's Kodagu district, falsely portraying an incident as an attempt at religious conversion through "Love Jihad," underscores the importance of fact-checking and responsible sharing on social media platforms. The misinformation, perpetuated by Right Wing accounts and others, has been debunked, revealing that the incident involved two Muslim girls facing harassment from a group with Hindutva affiliations.

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Bengaluru, Jul 22: Karnataka Labour Minister Santosh Lad on Monday said the proposal to extend the working hours of employees in the IT/ITeS/BPO sector has come from the IT industry, and the government will take a decision after looking into opinions shared by all stakeholders including leaders in the field and employees.

Stating that the IT employees union has expressed their dissent, he urged industry veterans and captains to also come out and share their views.

The proposed 'Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2024' seeks to normalise a 14-hour work day. The existing act only allows a maximum of 10 hours work per day including overtime.

"It is not the Minister who has brought himself (the proposed bill). The industry is pressurising. (They) are asking and they want it. Since there is pressure from the industry, the bill has come to us. We are still evaluating it at the Labour department. The question is for all the heads of the industry to discuss this," Lad said.

ALSO READ: Bengaluru IT sector to face 14-hour work day? Employees' Union expresses opposition

Speaking to reporters here, he said: "The matter is in open domain, people are free to discuss this. They (industry leaders) express (opinion) for every thing, so I want all the big heads (of the industry) to debate and express their view. There is dissent from IT employees. I want people to have their opinion. Based on that as a department we will look into what has to be done."

Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees' Union (KITU) that has urged the Siddaramaiah-led government to reconsider the plans to extend the working hours, strongly opposing the proposed amendment which, it said, poses an "attack on the basic right of any worker to have a personal life."

This amendment will allow the companies to go for a two shift system instead of the currently existing three shift system, and one third of the workforce will be thrown out from their employment, it claimed.

To a question on the impact of this proposed extended workers on the health, social and personal life of the employees, the Minister said: "Let the IT heads, the so-called big heads of the country, discuss. For everything they come out. I want the IT heads, IT company owners, Directors -- let them come and share their opinion, whether it is required or not.

The dissent is coming from the union, let the IT industry people, the heads have to speak about it positive or negative, and the government will look into what has to be done."

The IT industry is pressuring the government to go ahead with the proposal, he said. "Without their consent why would we do it suo moto. It is not done by any department, nor by the IT Minister. The pressure is from the IT industry itself, and that's how the proposal has come to us."

Asked as to why the government cannot say that they will not act on the proposal, considering the adverse impact it will have on the employees, the Minister said: "the government has done nothing. The proposal has come from the IT industry, it is good that it is in the public domain, definitely the government and my department in its wisdom will definitely take a call, but let people give their opinion."

Suhas Adiga, General Secretary of the Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union, citing various reports regarding health implication of this proposed move, said as per the current understanding the employees might have to work 80-85 hours in a week.

"This cannot be accepted under any circumstances. We call upon all IT/ITeS Employees and their dependents or family members to come out and resist this," he added.

Targeting the government on the issue, state BJP President B Y Vijayendra said the Congress government in Karnataka has not only made a mockery of themselves but is "leaving no stone unturned to destroy everything in its way."

"While the Siddaramaiah govt itself is in a sleeping mode, it plans to propose a bill that will force the IT sector to work 14 Work Hours A Day, 70 A Week," he posted on 'X'.

"The Congress government (should) better worry about its own under-performing productivity, the collapsing state economy and degrading infrastructure before setting policies for a sector that's efficient & thriving," Vijayendra added.

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