A collage of two photos, showing a street adjacent to a lake in Nainital, Uttarakhand and another image of a large Islamic gathering in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is being shared to make claims of Islamization of Nainital.
BOOM found that second image used in the graphic has no connection to Nainital. The photo shows Muslims taking part in an annual religious event 'Biswa Ijtema' (world congregation) held in January, 2018 in Bangladesh.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a right-wing organisation has claimed that Muslim population has increased — in areas such as Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital — over the years, in Uttarakhand, according to news outlets. They allege an influx of Muslim migrants from Uttar Pradesh.
The viral graphic claims the images were clicked in 2010 and 2022 respectively.
The graphic has been shared on Facebook with a caption in Hindi that says, 'those who know, only they can understand.'
(Original text in Hindi: जिन्हें ये पता है, वही ये समझ सकते हैं)
Click here to see the post.
The same graphic has been retweeted widely on Twitter with similar claims. The tweet is archived here.
BOOM ran a reverse search and found that the image of an Islamic gathering is not related to Nainital. The image was featured in an Al Jazeera article published on January 24, 2018 The photo is from the annual 'Biswa Ijtema' (world congregation) event with a mass, collective prayer on the banks of the Turag River, about 35km from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.
The image was clicked by the reporter of the article Mahmud Hossain Opu.
See the comparison of the viral image and the Al Jazeera image, below.
Another Image from Nainital
BOOM ran another reverse image search and found that the image was featured on a tourism blog. We spotted the logo of pizza chain 'Domino's' and a signboard named 'Alka'.
We then searched 'Domino's' Pizza outlets in Nainital on Google Maps. Google Maps showed an outlet opposite to Nainital Lake, near Mall Road, Mallital. We found an image uploaded in March, 2021 which matches the exact location of Domino's shop besides Hotel Alka.
A comparison of the viral image and Google Map's image below.
Claim : Image shows Muslims do prayer blocking road in Nainital, Uttarakhand
Claimed By : Facebook Posts & Twitter
Fact Check : False