With the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election round the corner, a video of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offering prayers at a mazar (mausoleum) is being shared to claim that in a bid to appease the Hindus, Banerjee visited temples during the day and then “secretly” offered prayers at the mazar at night.
However, The Quint found that Banerjee’s visit to the mazar was no secret. The event was not only covered by several news channels but was also streamed on Banerjee’s Facebook page.
The said video which shows Mamata Banerjee offering prayers at a mazar is being shared on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim in English and Bangla.
The claim reads: “Mamata didi.. praying with Muslims in the dark of late night in Nandigram yesterday! But you are cheating Hindu brothers in the daytime. (This video is caught in a hidden camera which is hiding this video on social media, ...make it viral). [sic.]”
WHAT WE FOUND
On listening to the audio in the viral post carefully, we noticed people praying for Mamata’s victory in elections.
Taking a cue from there, we searched YouTube with “Mamata visits mosque” in both Hindi and English and found a video uploaded by Hindi news channel News24 on 9 March, which carried similar visuals at the 21-seconds mark.
Next, we also found similar visuals of Mamata Banerjee visiting a mazar in a video live-streamed on her Facebook page.
A side-by-side comparison between the visuals in the video uploaded by Banerjee’s page on Facebook and the viral video prove that they are from the same event.
As part of a high-pitched election campaign, Mamata Banerjee visited 19 temples and one Muslim shrine during her 28-hour Nandigram tour.
Visuals of the CM offering prayers at the Shiva Temple were shared from the Twitter handle.
Clearly, Banerjee’s visit to the mazar was public knowledge and was widely covered by the media and live streamed on her Facebook page. Hence, contrary to the claim, she did not “secretly” offer prayers at a mazar while publicly visiting temples during the day.