Photo Of AAP Gujarat Billboard Doctored, Given Communal Spin
BOOM found that the viral photo has been morphed and the text on the billboard has been replaced.
A photo of a billboard put up by the Gujarat wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claiming people should give up Hindu rituals and start reading the namaz is fake. The photo, viral on social media sites, has been edited to make the false communal claim.
BOOM found that the viral photo has been morphed to change the appearance of the AAP Gujarat President, Gopal Italia to look like it is a Muslim man in the photo and the text in the hoarding also changed to read, "Gujarat will read the Namaz" and "forget things like Bhagwat Saptah and Satyanarayan Katha"
BOOM spoke to Italia who confirmed that the photo of the billboard is fake and the party would be filing a complaint to take action against it.
The morphed photo was tweeted by Twitter user Renuka Jain, in a now deleted tweet that read, "An AamAadmiParty campaign in Gujarat. It reads: "Gujarat padhega namaz. Bhagwat saptah aur Satyanarayan katha/puja jaisi faltu pratha chhodo."
The photo shows Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with AAP Gujarat leader Isudan Gadhvi and a morphed picture of Gopal Italia, president, AAP Gujarat.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation tweeted by the same Twitter user.
Surajit Dasgupta, Editor-in-chief of Sirf News also tweeted the same photo with the same caption.
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BOOM compared the viral photo with other photos of the original billboard put up at different places in Gujarat and found that the viral photo been morphed.
We found several pictures of the original billboard installed by different Aam Aadmi Party district wings that date back to June 25, 2021, where the same billboard. The original billboard was tweeted by handles of AAP's district wings. We found tweets by the Mehsana, Bharuch and Dang district.
We then compared the original billboard with the viral one and found several edited elements.
The original billboard reads, "Now Gujarat will change" (હવે બદલાશે ગુજરાત) which has been edited to read "Gujarat will read the Namaz" (નમાજ પઢશે ગુજરાત).
The line, "Forget things like Bhagwat Saptah and Satyanarayan Katha" (ભાગવત સપ્તાહ અને સત્યનારાયણની કથા જેવી ફાલતુ પ્રવૃત્તિ છોડો) has been added to the morphed photo, in place of the blank space. Gopal Italia, Aam Aadmi Party's Gujarat President's face has been photoshopped with a beard and a different attire. On the original billboard, we can spot that he is clean shaven and is wearing a shirt.
A reverse image search on the photo of the bearded man wearing a turban, as seen on the viral hoarding, showed that he is actually Iraqi Kurdish Islamist leader Mullah Krekar's photo. The false claim has morphed Krekar's photo on Italia's to make the false communal claim.
BOOM spoke to Italia who confirmed that the photo of the billboard is fake and the party would be filing a complaint to take action against it. "Our team will be filing a complaint against this and those trying to disturb communal harmony. Our photo has been previously also edited and shared with such fake claims. I would like to say if the BJP is not behind this then why hasn't the police taken Suo Moto cognizance of this photo being shared and filed a case against those circulating it as this is disturbing the peace," Italia told BOOM.
AAP Gujarat also tweeted a screenshot of the morphed billboard, saying the party's legal cell will be taking action against it.
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