A photo of 14-year old Muslim teen who was made acting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) for a day as part of Women's Day celebrations in Buldhana, Maharashtra, is being peddled with a false and communal claim that the girl is a police officer who did not wear a uniform because of her faith.
The photo shows the teen, who is seen in a hijab, seated behind a desk and surrounded by police officers standing for a photograph with the girl.
The image is being shared with a caption which claims, "Muslim SP in Maharashtra becomes first IPS through Urdu medium! Who on the very first day left her police dress code and adopted an Islamic dress code !! Congratulations to the Shiv Sena Government !! The contribution of Shiv Sena to Gajhwa-e-Hind will also be commendable."
(In Hindi - उर्दू माध्यम से पहली IPS बनी महाराष्ट्र मे मुस्लिम SP ! जिसने पहले ही दिन अपना पुलिस ड्रेसकोड छोडकर इस्लामिक ड्रेसकोड अपनाया !! शिव सेना सरकार को खुब खुब अभिनंदन !! गझवा ए हिंद मे शिव सेना का योगदान भी सराहनीय रहेगा)
The fake post is gaining traction after Sudarshan News TV, a rabble rousing channel against religious minorities, aired a communally charged program alleging a 'conspiracy' behind the number of Muslim aspirants clearing the civil services examination.
This was criticised across the board, with the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association putting out a statement condemning and calling it a 'communal and irresponsible piece of journalism'.
BOOM received the same post on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906588) for verification.
Viral on Facebook
On searching on Facebook with the same caption, we found that the image is being shared with the false claim.
A reverse image search of the photo showed news articles that stated that the girl in the viral image is a 14-year-old girl who was made the DSP for a day in Buldhana, Maharashtra ahead of Women's Day - which is celebrated on March 8 every year.
Sahrish Kanwal, from Zilla Parishad Urdu High School, Malkapur tehsil, took over as DSP for a day, Times Of India reported on March 5, 2020. The report further stated that the week-long initiative was conceptualised by Buldhana Collector Suman Chandra allows girls to experience the administration's functioning and address other issues.
One can spot the same girl and police officers standing behind her in the report as in the viral image, at the 2.32 timestamp.
BOOM reached out to the Superintendent of Police Buldhana Office who confirmed that the girl was made as acting head DSP for a day in the run up to International Women's Day and stated that administrative positions in the whole district from the Collector to the SP had a female student acting an acting head to mark the occasion.
"This year in the run to Women's Day, girls from different schools were made acting SP, DSP, Collector, and various administrative positions in the district. The girl in the photo was in 9th standard, and not an SP, there no religious angle to this as students from different schools were selected for this," said an official from the SP Office.
Buldhana Police had also tweeted about on the occasion, on March 4, 2020, which also has the same viral photo. The caption, which translated reads, "I also want to be a Superintendent of Police, Today is a very important day for me! - Expectations of one day Superintendent of Police Saharish Kawal, Zilla Parishad High School, Malkapur - Innovative initiative of Superintendent of Police, Buldhana Dr. Dilip Patil-Bhujbal on the occasion of International Women's Day."
Claim Review : Photo shows a Muslim Superintendent Of Police in Maharashtra violating police dress code
Claimed By : Facebook Posts
Fact Check : False