A photograph of two people holding up a banner, with text in Hindi that requests people to not offer namaz on the road outside a mosque is doing the rounds on social media.
The photograph is being shared to claim that a mosque in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh put up the banner on its premises after a FIR was registered against 150 people in Agra, for offering prayers on the road without prior permission.
But we found that the photo is from 2019, when a mosque in Meerut put up the banner after devotees had gathered outside its premises to offer Friday prayers. As per reports, the act had blocked roads and obstructed traffic, after which the banner was put up.
The photograph is being shared to claim that a mosque in Uttar Pradesh put up banners requesting people not to offer prayers on the road outside its premises after a FIR was filed against 150 people in Agra for doing the same without prior permission.
The photo was shared with the same claim by journalist Ashok Shrivastav, who commended UP CM Yogi Adityanath in his tweet.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We noticed that the banner showed the name and locality of the mosque in Hindi, which read 'Darbaar Wali Masjid, Bhavani Nagar, Meerut.'
Using this as a cue, we looked for information on the mosque. The results led us to a Hindi article on news aggregator application Inshorts, published on 17 August 2019, which carried the same photograph.
It noted that the banner was an appeal by Meerut's Darbaar Wali Masjid after the Inspector General of the Meerut police range had issued orders to prohibit any kind of religious activity on the roads.
It also led us to a tweet with the same photo, shared by Meerut Police's verified Twitter account in August 2019.
Next, we looked for more details regarding the appeal and came across a report by Navbharat Times, which noted that a mosque in Meerut had put up this banner after people had offered namaz in high numbers outside its premises.
District officials had met with a committee of the mosque, as the crowd has obstructed traffic and blocked roads.
The committee cooperated with the administration, and cordoned off the footpath so devotees could use it instead of the road, while also putting up a banner to appeal to "namazis".
Evidently, an old photograph of a banner requesting people to not pray on roads outside a mosque in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh was shared to claim that the banner was put up after 150 people were booked for offering namaz on the road without prior permission in Agra.