Multiple photos comparing two girls has gone viral to claim that Muskan, the girl who stood up to a mob of saffron-clad boys chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' in Karnataka's Mandya, generally wears western clothes and wore a burqa only for "propaganda" purposes.
However, different pictures have been juxtaposed to make the false claim.
The first picture is from the day of the incident that took place at the PES College in Karnataka's Mandya on 8 February. The girl was identified as Muskan and her video have gone viral.
The other photos, however, are that of Najma Nazeer Chikkanerale, a member of Janata Dal (Secular) Karnataka.
Clashes were also reported in Karnataka on Tuesday, as students protesting against the denial of entry into colleges for girls wearing hijab were met with opposition from saffron-clad protesters.
The photograph was shared with a text to describe each of the photographs that said, "Yeh hai Aam Zindagi" and "yeh hai Propaganda Zindagi".
(Translation: This is normal life, while this is propaganda.)
Kreately, a website which has been called out before for sharing misinformation, shared the viral image.
The claim was widely shared on Facebook and we also received it as a query on our WhatsApp tipline.
Another photo, which is massively viral, was also shared with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We cropped the first image in the collage and then conducted a reverse image search of the photo. We found the same photograph posted on the Facebook page of Najma Nazeer Chikkanarale.
According to Nazeer's Facebook page, she is a politician working with Janata Dal Secular-Karnataka and had photographs with leaders from the party. We also compared the viral image with more photograph available on her Facebook page.
We could also locate the second picture on her Facebook profile, which can be viewed here.
Nazeer also confirmed to The Quint that it was indeed her in the viral images and added that these old pictures were being used to "malign and destroy" her image.
Further, the girl from the day of the protests in Mandya was identified as Muskan. In an interview with NDTV, she said that she has always worn a hijab to college and it wasn't a problem until the protests began.
More Misleading Claims About Najma Go Viral
While going through social media, we found another post where Nazeer's photos were being shared to claim that she was one of the students protesting against the ban on hijab in Karnataka colleges.
One social media user, while sharing Nazeer's photos said, "Roaming around with boys without hijab is allowed in Islam but not in school."
Several other social media users made the same claims, archives of some of which can be found here and here.
However, Nazeer had earlier told fact-checking organisation Alt News that while she was in touch with some of the students who were protesting, she herself was not a student.
She further added that she graduated in 2018 and was currently a State Committee Officer at JDS Karnataka.
Evidently, photographs of a member of the JDS was shared by several social media users as Muskan, the girl from Karnataka's Mandya, who stood up to a mob of saffron-clad boys.
(Update: The story has been updated to add another photo of the JD(S) member which has been widely circulated misidentifying her as Muskan Khan.)
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