A graphic video of a man urinating at a cricket ground dressed in the Indian tricolour is being shared with a false claim that the man is a Pakistan national.
The undated video shows the man removing his shorts and urinate on the cricket grounds with someone in the background recording the incident and cheering him on. After urinating, the man gets up and cheers loudly. The man is wearing a vest and a turban with the Indian tricolour on it.
BOOM received the post on our helpline asking about the identity of the man and whether he was a Pakistan national.
The text on the post reads, “Such a shameful act by Pakistani citizen wearing Indian flag dress pretend to be an Indian cricket Fan is urinating in the Ovals gallery during IND vs Aus match, also record video then posted on social media, video goes viral then London police arrested Farid Khan and his 2 brothers. Most disgraceful moment you will ever find in cricket. Stop being hyper Nationalist.”
The claim is on a four photo collage with two screenshots from the viral video and two photos, onewith the passport details of an Iranian national man called Farid Mansoorzadeh and another of a man being arrested by UK Police.
A tweet shared by Mohammed Zubair, co-founder, ALT News identified the man as Narendra Bhojani.
An advanced search for Bhojani brothers, led us to results about Narendra Bhojani being one of three siblings who run a cricket fan page. The three brothers – Narendra, Suresh and Hari attend most matches when the Indian cricket team are playing dressed in tricolour and carrying a kalash and a conch. The trio have been captured by various photojournalists for their attire during the match.
Narendra Bhojani’s Facebook profile was deleted and and so was the cricket fan page run by the siblings.
A search for ‘Bhojani cricket’ on Facebook and led us to videos and photos from the extended Bhojani family with the caption saying the man is Narendra Bhojani. Below is the screenshot of from one such video :
A comparison of the above screengrab with a screenshot from the viral video of the man urinating showed many similarities.
BOOM also found a video interview of Bhojani published by a local Gujarati web news channel Leva Patel news on April 7, 2016.
In the video, the anchor introduces the three siblings including Narendra as hailing from Kutch area in Gujarat and “great supporters of Indian crickets”. At 1.23 minutes, Bhojani says in Gujarati, “I am a native of India but now staying in London”. At the counter of 2.09, Bhojani details the number of matches he’s watched and then says, “We hope and pray that India wins and gets the trophy home.”
In the whole interview, Bhojani talks about him and his two brother and their love for cricket and their “memorable India matches”
Bhojani also featured in a 2015 news article published in the tabloid MidDay where he was mentioned as an Indian fan who carries a Kalash to all India matches as a “lucky charm”
A YouTube account Harshika01p has uploaded 12 videos which show the Bhojani brothers including Narendra Bhojani at various matches donning Indian tricolour and supporting India.
BOOM was not able to independently identify where the incident happened and whether it was during the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup.
We then looked for the two other photos on the misleading claim – screenshot of a passport of an Iranian national and a photo of a man being held by police personnel.
While BOOM was not able to trace the photo of the Iranian national passport, we found the the photo of a man being arrested by the police. The wire agency European Photo Agency (EPA) had published the same photo in 2013 when a demonstrator was arrested by the London police while he was protesting against the G8 Summit.