An image showing a group of anti-establishment political activists and politicians, is viral with the claim that one of the people in the photo is Muskan Khan who was recently heckled by saffron clad for wearing a burqa. The image with the caption is being shared to insinuate that Khan wearing burqa is part of a conspiracy against the government.
BOOM found this claim to be false; we ascertained that the woman being referenced in the image is actually Najma Nazeer Chikkanarale, a member of the Janata Dal (Secular), and does not show Muskan Khan.
Over the past week, Chikkanarale's image has gone viral on several occasions with the false claim that she is Muskan Khan.
The photo is being shared in the backdrop of the issue of wearing hijab in educational institutions, which was met with fierce counter-protests organised by Hindutva groups.
A Facebook user shared the photo, showing popular activists and politicians like Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid, Jignesh Mevani and Prakash Raj, along with a few other women. One of the woman's face was encircled, in an attempt to highlight her face.
A Hindi caption in the photo read, "All the patriots are together, 😀😀. Oh boy, Karnataka's hijab girl is also there. Now we understand the entire issue 😂😂"
BOOM had previously come across multiple images of the same girl in the photo, with similar claims.
Her photo was recently shared by right-wing portal Kreately, next to a photo of Muskan Khan, with the claim that they are the same person.
Our investigation had revealed that the person in the photo above is actually JD(S) member Najma Nazeer Chikkanarale.
BOOM got in touch with Chikkanarale, who confirmed that the person in the above photo, and the woman in the viral photo with the politicians and activists, was her.
"This is my photo. It's picked up from my social media profile and is quite old. We have the constitutional right to wear what we want," she told us.
Furthermore, we also found the original photo on Facebook, posted on December 31, 2019, where Chikkanarale was tagged.
Additional reporting by Anmol Alphonso.