A screenshot of a video showing an Islamic flag being waved after the Indian National Congress won the Karnataka elections with a clear majority is viral with false claims that it shows jubilant supporters waving the Pakistani national flag to celebrate the win. Furthermore, several right-wing Twitter users also shared the viral video with a misleading caption claiming that Islamic flags are being hoisted in Karnataka following the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) loss to Congress, ignoring the three other flags seen in the video.
BOOM however found that the green flag in the video is not a Pakistani flag. Also, several other flags including an 'Om' written saffron flag, a blue flag supporting the Dalit movement and a flag representing the Congress' winning candidate from Bhatkal, Mankal Vaidya, can be seen in the video.
The Congress experienced a thumping victory on May 13 in the Karnataka assembly elections and won 135 seats defeating the BJP in the state. The BJP, on other hand, got 66 seats and have become the main opposition. Following the electoral mandate, several videos have started circulating on social media platforms with false and misleading claims.
A Twitter user shared the video with a Hindi caption that translates to, "The Congress government in Karnataka did not even take oath and started hoisting Pakistan's flag."
(Original Text in Hindi: कर्नाटक में कांग्रेस सरकार का शपथ ग्रहण भी नहीं हुआ और पाकिस्तान का झंडा फहराने लगे।)
Click here to view an archived version of the tweet.
The video is also circulating widely on Facebook with the same claim.
BJP's IT cell head Amit Malviya shared the video with a misleading caption in English, “Bhatkal. Soon after Congress victory in Karnataka."
Right-wing news outlet Panchjanya tweeted a screenshot from the video with a Hindi caption that translates to, “Islamic flags were waved in Bhatkal, Karnataka. The Muslim population in Bhatkal is 64.59% and the Hindu population is 33.17%."
(Original Text in Hindi: कर्नाटक के भटकल में लहराए गए इस्लामिक झंडे। भटकल में मुस्लिम आबादी 64.59% और हिन्दू आबादी 33.17% है।)
Twitter handle Woke Patroller tweeted the video with a Hindi caption, "Congress is yet to form government in Karnataka but trends have started coming".
(Original Text in Hindi: अभी तो सरकार नहीं बनी कांग्रेस की कर्नाटक में पर रूझान आने शुरू हो गए है)
The video was shared by user Mr Sinha, with a cryptic tweet, "Congress is yet to form a government. This is what we lost...."
This is not the first time that an Islamic flag has been misrepresented as the Pakistani flag. BOOM had earlier fact-checked similar viral claims. Read here.
The green flag seen in the video has a white crescent and star in the middle, which is often seen in Muharram and Eid Milad-un-Nabi processions. Meanwhile, in the Pakistani flag one-fourth of the part is white while the rest of it is green with the crescent moon and star visible in the center.
Taking a cue, we reached out to Subhan, a journalist with a local news website 'Bhatkalis' for further details.
Speaking to BOOM, Subhan said, "The green flag hoisted at Shamsuddin Circle belongs to a Muslim religious organisation 'Bazme Faizur Rasool'. This flag is also hoisted on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession."
We then searched for news reports related to the procession of "Bazme Faizur Rasool" on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi. The search led us to a report from a local news website named "Sahil Online" and a YouTube video, in which the same green flag can be noticed.
Was An Islamic Flag Hoisted After Victory Of Congress
BOOM observed the video closely and found three other flags being waved apart from the Islamic flag - a saffron flag with the Hindu religious symbol 'Om', a blue flag of Baba Saheb Ambedkar showing Dalit resistance and another flag supporting Mankal Vaidya, the winning Congress candidate from Bhatkal.
We then searched with relevant keywords and found a video on a verified YouTube channel named "Sahil Online TV News". The title of the video reads, "Bhatkal accords grand welcome to new MLA Mankal Vaidya at Shamsuddin Circle".
In this video, people can be seen welcoming Mankal Vaidya. During the victory procession, his supporters can be seen waving saffron flags, Congress flags, blue flags representing the Dalit movement and Islamic flags together.
Apart from this, Vaidya's supporters can be seen hoisting saffron, blue, green and Congress flags together at Shamsuddin Circle. The viral video was also shot at the exact same place.
Subhan, further told BOOM that Shamsuddin Circle is also known as 'Unity Pillar'. All those organisations who were supporting the Congress had hoisted their flags together there. Other than this, we found a news report published on the Vartha Bharati website, with a statement from the Superintendent of Police, Uttara Kannada, regarding the viral video. Speaking to Vartha Bharati, Uttara Kannada District Superintendent of Police Vishnuvardhan N clarified, "It was a religious flag, and it was not a Pakistani flag. We have confirmed it, and we request the social media users not to share any misleading information that could create communal unrest."
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