Did A Non-Kashmiri Person Open A Shop In Srinagar? A Fact-Check

No such shop exists in Srinagar in Jammu And Kashmir according to the head of the local trade body.

An image has been shared thousands of times in social media posts in 2021 that purports to show a shop in Kashmir owned by non-Kashmiris after India stripped the region's special status in 2019. The claim is false: no such shop exists in Srinagar, the city cited in the posts, according to the head of the local trade body. The image has circulated online with different shop names since at least 2019, often in response to satirical posts.

The image was shared by a prominent Indian journalist Deepak Chaurasia here on Twitter on August 12, 2021.

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It has gained more than 3,700 retweets.

The post's Hindi-language caption translates to English as: "While others were only thinking, a Yadav has opened his shop in Kashmir. Wow."

The shop's Hindi-language sign reads: "Yadav Mishthan Bhandaar, Lal Chowk, Kashmir".

Lal Chowk is a city square in the state capital Srinagar.

Yadav is a caste and a surname in India, prominent in north-eastern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It symbolises non-Kashmiri identity.

"Misthan" is the Hindi term for sweets and "Bhandaar" refers to a shop.

Screenshot of the misleading tweet taken on August 18, 2021

The Indian government, on August 5, 2019, stripped Kashmir of the special autonomy that restricted outsiders and non-Kashmiris from buying lands and properties in the state, AFP reported.

The parliament passed a bill revoking the autonomy of the state that was provided under the constitution of India, inviting mass protests from the region, Indian news agency Press Trust of India reported.

The image has been repeatedly shared on Facebook alongside an identical claim. A similar post here on Facebook has been shared more than 26,000 times.

The same image was shared here, here and here on Facebook; and here and here on Twitter alongside a similar claim.

The claim, however, is false.

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Fake shop

There is no such shop in Lal Chowk, according to Mohammad Yousuf Khan, the president of the local traders federation.

He told AFP: "I have checked our list of shops and there is no such shop called Yadav Mishthan Bhandaar at Lal Chowk".

Changing image

The image has circulated online since at least 2019 with different shop names displayed.

A reverse image search on Google followed by a keyword search found a tweet with a similar image that was posted on August 5, 2019.

But in this image, the shop sign reads: "Jodhpur Mishthan Bhandaar."

The image was shared in response to a satire post about Kashmir.

Screenshot of the old tweet with morphed image taken on August 18, 2021

Pankaj Jain, founder of Indian fact-check site Social Media Hoax Slayer, posted several variations of the image on August 13, 2021.

He said there was evidence the image had been manipulated since early August 2019.

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-08-20T19:23:01+05:30
Claim Review :   A non-Kashmiri person opened a shop in Srinagar in Kashmir after the abrogation of article 370.
Claimed By :  Deepak Chaurasia, Posts on Facebook and Twitter
Fact Check :  False
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