A video showing a demolition drive of a mosque is viral on social media with a false claim that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the drive for hoisting Pakistan’s national flag atop the mosque.
BOOM found that the mosque was demolished because of the expansion work of the Grand Trunk Road. The claim of hoisting Pakistani flag atop the mosque is false.
The video has been shared with a claim in Hindi, "In Yogi Baba's state for hoisting Pakistan's flag on Saidabad Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh) mosque, Yogi ji uprooted the mosque."
(Original Text in Hindi: योगी बाबा के राज्य में, सैदाबाद प्रयागराज( उ0प्र) मस्जिद पर पाकिस्तान का झंडा लहराने पर योगी जी ने मस्जिद ही उखड़वादी)
Watch the video here.
The video was also shared on Twitter with the same claim.
BOOM also received the same message on its WhatsApp Tipline (+91 7700906588) for verification.
BOOM found a tweet while searching with keywords on Twitter with claims that the mosque was demolished in the presence of Public Works Department (PWD) officials for widening of GT Road in Handia, Allahabad (Prayagraj).
We further ran keywords search and found it was reported on Dainik Bhaskar last week. According to the report, the Shahi Masjid in Saidabad market under Handia Tehsil of Prayagraj was razed to the ground in the presence of strict administrative security force and officials of PWD. The mosque was built during the regime of Sher Shah Suri.
The report further stated that the state Public Works Department is widening the GT Road from Prayagraj to Haldia. According to the report, the authorities had already served a notice to the Shahi Masjid committee. The locals had earlier approached the High Court with a writ petition but the court rejected it. Meanwhile, the administration has demolished the mosque. There was however no mention of hoisting the Pakistan flag anywhere in the report.
Times of India reported on August 24, 2022 that the Allahabad High Court turned down the writ petition and clarified that as per government report the mosque has been constructed by encroaching government land. The Intezamia Committee had filed the writ petition on the ground that the mosque has been in existence since before the independence. The court also directed that the issue of the title over the land could be decided by a local civil court.
Read Hindi outlet Hindustan’s report here.
We then looked closely at the video and found that the white crescent moon and the star inside is placed in opposite direction compared to the flags of Pakistan. Such flags are generally seen in Islamic establishments and is not similar to the national flag of Pakistan. Below is a comparison of the flag seen in the viral video and the national flag of Pakistan.
BOOM then contacted Handia Police Station and an officer, on conditions of anonymity, told that the allegation about the Pakistan national flag being hoisted in the mosque is fake. The inspector told BOOM, "No such case happened there. The mosque has been removed due to the widening of the GT Road." The viral video was first debunked by BOOM Hindi on January 15, 2023.
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