Aam Aadmi Party's social media head Ankit Lal on Friday, 3 May, took to Twitter to claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party's North West Delhi candidate Hans Raj Hans has converted to Islam.
The almost three-minute-long video shows Sufi singer-turned-politician Hans Raj Hans wearing a skull cap and speaking in high praise of someone, praying for their long life.
The same video has also been shared by several other members of the party's social media cell, including Spandan Srivastava – who tweeted out a shorter version of the same clip with the claims that Hans Raj Hans aka "Mohammad Yusuf was speaking on Islam."
The videos were tweeted out as part of AAP's attack on the BJP for allegedly fielding a 'Muslim' candidate on a seat that is reserved for the SC/ST.
According to report in The Hindu, AAP leader Rajendra Pal Gautam, addressing a press conference, said “The BJP has given ticket to a person who is not from a reserved category. He has hidden many facts. On February 20, 2014, he converted to Islam. He converted to Mohammad Yusuf. He had also told that he converted his religion, but he will continue to sing under the same name.”
TRUE OR FALSE?
The BJP candidate has rubbished these claims, stating that he will now be filing a defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal for spreading falsehoods.
Speaking to the media, Hans Raj Hans said “Jhoote aadmi ne phir jhoot bola. Gandagi ki paribasha ko ujagar karne wale shakshiyat ko dekhna hai toh vo Kejriwal hai. Defamation ka case karenge aur SC/ST ka Act lagaenge.” (Translated: The liar has lied again. If someone has thrown light on the definition of filth, then it is Kejriwal. We will file a defamation suit and the SC/ST act against him.)
A search on the internet for the keywords "Hans Raj Hans Muslim" led us to a longer video uploaded by World Islamic Network on 19 February 2018.
The YouTube video was titled 'Hans Raj Hans Pays His Tribute to Shaykh Ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir Ul Qadri on his 67 Birthday,' indicating that the person he was talking of was Tahir-Ul-Qadri.
The clip shared by the AAP members on social media were the first two minutes from this 11-minute-long video.
While Lal's clip has been shared with a misleading context, Srivastava's video has been edited altogether to make it appear as though he was talking in praise of the religion and not Qadri.
CLAIMS WERE VIRAL IN 2014 AS WELL
Reports of Hans Raj Hans having converted to Islam initially started to do the rounds in 2014, when he had visited Pakistan for a couple of days.
According to some Pakistani media reports, Hans Raj Hans had supposedly adopted the religion during his visit to the country, and had expressed his desire to visit Madina. The reports also claimed that he had changed his name to 'Mohammad Yusuf.'
However, India Today had then quoted Hans Raj Hans' son Navraj refuting these reports to local media. Similarly, a Hindustan Times report too quoted his other son Yuvraj Hans refuting these reports.
According to the daily, Yuvraj had said "Our family was completely disturbed after we came to know of the report by online news Pakistani portal and a TV channel that my father had converted his religion in Lahore. I was shooting at that time. I called up my father and he, too, was stunned at the news. We did not know how the footage got spread and who is behind this."
The Quint has independently reached out to Hans Raj Hans for a comment and will update this story with his response.
(This story has been deubunked by Alt News.)
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