A video showing excavators demolishing a mosque like structure along with other buildings is viral on social media with captions misleadingly claiming that the demolition was carried out as the structures were built on encroached land in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
BOOM found that while the viral video does show a demolition process underway in Sohramau area of Unnao, the claim that a mosque was brought down in the process is false. BOOM spoke to district magistrate of Unnao who refuted the viral claims.
The viral clip shows excavators demolishing several structures. One of them, a white structure with domes, appears to look like a mosque.
A Hindi caption with a tweet sharing the viral video translates to 'The mosque of that goat from Unnao who was calling Badrinath as the abode of Badruddin was demolished. Along with it the houses around the mosque were also razed. FIR was filed and he was asked to produce the papers. The mosque and houses were built on encroached land'.
(Hindi: उन्नाव वाला बकरा जो बद्रीनाथ को बदरुदीन शाह की जगह बता रहा था उसके मस्जिद और आसपास के घर उड़ा दिए , fir दर्ज की और कागज दिखाने को बोला गया अवैध बनी थी मस्जिद और घर। योगी जी वाह योगी जी)
The same video is viral on Facebook with similar claims.
A caption with one of the Facebook posts translates to 'They were asked to show the papers... and then JCB came. The mosque and surrounding houses were demolished. FIR was filed. The houses and mosque were illegally constructed'.
(Hindi: #कागज दिखाने को बोला था.......... और बस #JCB आ गई। उसके मस्जिद और आसपास के घर उड़ा दिए , fir दर्ज की और कागज नहीं दिखा पाए। अवैध बनी थी मस्जिद और घर)
BOOM did a keyword search with Hindi words 'उन्नाव अतिक्रमण वीडियो' and found an ABP Ganga report on the incident. The ABP report published on July 26 has the same video which is viral now.
The report states that the video is from Sohramau in Unnao where the Jalshakti Department of the UP government freed 2.5 acres of land from the clutches of land mafia.
A News 18 report on the incident states that a land mafia had illegally sold the land belonging to Irrigation department on the Lucknow-Kanpur Highway. Later, buildings and shops were constructed on the land. A complaint regarding the encroachment had been filed by Zilla Panchayat member Arun Singh last year.
Meanwhile, on July 26 orders came from the CMO and the process of freeing the land was expedited and the structures were demolished.
The video had also been tweeted from the official Twitter handle of UP government's Irrigation department on July 26 with a Hindi caption which translates to 'On the direction of Honorable Chief Minister Shri @myogiadityanath and under the leadership of Honorable Jal Shakti Minister Dr @bjpdrmahendra, the Irrigation department in Unnao district freed 2.5 acres of land from land mafia'.
(Hindi: माननीय मुख्यमंत्री श्री @myogiadityanath जी के निर्देशन एवं माननीय जलशक्ति मंत्री डॉ. @bjpdrmahendra के नेतृत्व में जनपद उन्नाव में सिंचाई विभाग द्वारा अतिक्रमण हटाओ अभियान के तहत भूमाफियाओं से मुक्त कराई गई 2.5 एकड़ जमीन!)
None of the reports, however, state anything about a mosque being demolished in the process.
BOOM then contacted Unnao district magistrate Ravindra Kumar to get more details about the incident. Kumar said that land belonging to the Irrigation Department had been encroached upon for few years now. "The video shows the demolition of these illegal structures," Kumar told BOOM.
The DM also added that there was no mosque or other religious structure at the site. Kumar told us that the mosque-like structure seen in the video is the entrance gate to a society which has domes over it. He refuted the claims of a mosque being demolished in the process.
BOOM also contacted a local from Sohramau locality where the demolition works were carried out. Aazad Kushwaha, a local resident, told us that the viral claim was false. "There is no mosque in this area," Kushwaha added.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?