A protest held by supporters of Popular Front of India (PFI) in Pune over the weekend, has stirred a controversy with several mainstream news outlets claiming protesters raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans.
BOOM analysed multiple videos from the protest that took place on September 23, 2022 outside the District Collectorate office and found the claim to be false.
A closer analysis of the clips show PFI supporters raised 'Popular Front Zindabad' slogans and not 'Pakistan Zindabad' as alleged.
Meanwhile Pune Police when contacted said the videos were being investigated.
Activists in Pune on Friday afternoon were protesting against the nationwide searches at the premises linked to PFI - an Islamic political organisation and the arrest of its members by central agencies under terrorism charges.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde tweeted in Marathi saying, "the sloganeering of Pakistan Zindabad by some anti-social elements in Pune is highly condemnable. While the police machinery will take appropriate action against them, we want to make it clear that such slogans will not be tolerated in the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj."
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also reacted saying, "we will not spare anyone who gives the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad in Maharashtra or anywhere in India. We will find those people out and take action against them."
Wire agency Asian News International (ANI) tweeted a video compilation from the protest with the caption, "#WATCH | Maharashtra: 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were heard outside the District Collector's office yesterday in Pune City where PFI cadres gathered against the recent ED-CBI-Police raids against their outfit. Some cadres were detained by Police; they were arrested this morning."
Rohan Dua, Editor of The New Indian tweeted a video from a different angle showing the police arresting PFI protesters and putting them in the van claiming, "...PFI workers openly raised the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad in Pune"
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BOOM analysed multiple videos from people present at the PFI's protest in Pune which show that 'Popular Front Zindabad' slogans were raised and not 'Pakistan Zindabad'.
We also were able to cross check the sequence of events in these videos with a Facebook Live.
In all the videos we found, the ambient noise of the crowd and the slogans raised by the protesters have merged making it difficult to separate.
We observed that there were mainly two slogans raised 'Nara-e-Takbeer - Allah-hu-Akbar' and 'Popular Front Zindabad' which has been misheard/misreported as 'Pakistan Zindabad'. The protesters also raised 'BJP Murdabad' slogans.
BOOM also spoke two people present at the protest who denied that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised. Zahid Faisal Saudagar, a social activist who was present at the protest on Friday told BOOM, "none of the demonstrators raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans. We were raising Popular Front of India slogans when the Pune Police detained a few of them."
In this 3.32 minutes video taken from a different angle shot in front of the police van, where protesters are being detained by police, they can be heard initially chanting, ''Nara e Takbeer - Allah hu Akbar", and they can be heard chanting 'Popular Front Zindabad' (specifically from 2.50 minutes onward).
In this 5.39 minutes video taken from another angel, again we can hear the same slogans, '''Nara e Takbeer - Allah hu Akbar", and then 'Popular Front Zindabad". The 'Popular front zindabad' can be specifically heard near the van from 3.02 minutes.
In this 4.41 minutes video, we can again hear the same two slogans when the protesters are being put into the van by the police - ''Nara e Takbeer - Allah hu Akbar", and then 'Popular Front Zindabad".
Facebook Live footage
We also found a Facebook live by Policenama on September 23, 2022, at 3.42 pm which shows the same sequence of events as seen in the viral videos from the protest site.
Some social media users claimed that a man wearing a peach coloured shirt and looking through the police van window after being detained shouted "Pakistan Zindabad".
However, from the 7.39 to 7.48 minutes timestamp, if we hear the man and watch the video multiple times, we can see and hear him shout 'Popular Front Zindabad'
Below is a 10-second clip showing the sequence from the Facebook Live.
We also analysed a video tweeted by right-wing Twitter user The Hawk Eye in response to a Alt News fact-check on the same claim. The handle tweeted a video of the same man in the police van, in a loop at three different speeds.
However, a side-to-side comparison of the video at normal speed from The Hawk Eye and the same clip found in the Policenama Facebook Live show the man shouted 'Popular Front Zindabad'.
Pune Police on Pro-Pakistan slogans claim
Newslaundry published a fact-check on the same claim on September 24 and quoted Pratap Mankar, senior police inspector, Bund Garden saying, "Nobody shouted Pakistan Zindabad slogans. This is utterly false," and saying, "Their slogan was 'Popular Front Zindabad".
BOOM contacted Pune Police ACP R.N Raje who said, "the investigation is going on." and did not elaborate further. We also contacted DCP Sagar Patil, who sent us a video statement by the Pune Police that mentioned the sections filed against those protesting for unlawful assembly and stating that the investigation is going on.
Different slogans misheard as 'Pakistan Zindabad'
BOOM has debunked a number of claims in the past where various slogans even the ones that do not rhyme with 'Pakistan' were misheard as 'Pakistan Zindabad'. These include slogans such as 'Sajid bhai zindabad,' 'Owaisi saab zindabad','Aziz bhai zindabad' and 'Azim bhai zindabad'. Read more about it here, here, here and here.
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