An old photo of a group of youngsters sporting terror organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) T-shirts in Tamil Nadu has been revived as Kerala, amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the film The Kerala Story.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, 'The Kerala Story' makers had initially claimed that the film showcases stories of 32,000 Hindu and Christian women from Kerala who have been trafficked to Syria and Yemen and then recruited by terror outfits such as ISIS.
BOOM found that the 32,000 figure as claimed by the makers is grossly exaggerated and lacks data-based evidence from the Indian government or international organisations. Later, the makers of the film told Kerala High Court that the teaser would be taken down from all their social handles.
BOOM found that the now viral photo featuring youths wearing ISIS T-shirts shows an incident from Tamil Nadu that took place in 2014. BOOM had debunked the same image when it was viral ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with claims that it showed youngsters in Kerala wearing ISIS T-shirts.
Right-wing columnist Shefali Vaidya tweeted the photo with the caption, "This is a picture from Kerala, local Muzlim youth wearing ISIS t-shirt and posing with the ISIS hand signal that there is only ONE God, THEIR God! And yet, people have the nerve to say that Love Jihad is myth. The Kerala Story is REAL!"
Click here to view the tweet.
Vaidya later shared an 'update' about the misinformation she shared on Twitter and clarified that the picture is not from Kerala.
However, several Facebook users fell for the initial tweet by Vaidya and posted a screengrab of the tweet to amplify the same claim.
Upon a reverse image search, we found several 2014 news articles stating that the photo is from an incident which happened in Tamil Nadu.
A report by The Hindu published on August 4, 2014, states that the incident happened in front of a mosque in Thondi town of Ramanathapuram where "26 Muslim youths caused a flutter when they posed for a photograph, sporting black T-shirts with the emblem of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Shams)." The incident happened on Eid day.
It further adds, "After one of them posted the photograph on Facebook, which went viral, the police swung into action but found none of them had any direct or indirect link with the ISIS, which was battling the governments of Iraq and Syria, or any other fundamentalist Muslim outfit."
We also found another The Hindu news report from August 6, 2014, mentioning that the Ramanathapuram police arrested a Tirupur-based Imam over charges of procuring the T-shirts and printing slogans in support of the ISIS before sending them to the Muslim youths in Thondi.
The article mentions, "Initially, it was believed that the Muslim youths wanted to only express their gratitude to the ISIS for releasing Indian nurses stranded in Iraq. However, a "deeper investigation" revealed that the main accused were active supporters of the ISIS and allegedly trying to brainwash Muslim youths for the cause that the ISIS was fighting for."
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?