A video showing a mosque along a busy road being demolished by a crane and an excavator is being shared on social media platforms.
The claim: The clip is being shared to claim that a mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Saidabad was demolished because it hoisted Pakistan's flag on its dome.
(Archives of more claims on social media can be seen here, here and here.)
Is it true?: No. As per Prayagraj police's media cell, the claim that the mosque was demolished for hoisting Pakistan's national flag is "completely false."
They told The Quint that it was demolished by the Public Works Department for road widening.
How did we find out?: Using relevant keywords, we looked for news reports on the mosque's demolishment.
This led us to a report by Live Hindustan, which mentioned that the Shahi Masjid in Handia, a town near Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj was demolished amid heavy police presence on 9 January.
It added that the mosque was demolished as a part of a road widening project, and a notice had been issued regarding the same.
Another report on the incident by Dainik Bhaskar mentioned that Public Works Department (PWD) demolished the mosque to widen GT road, and had issued a notice.
To protect the mosque, some locals had approached the High Court, which directed them to the civil court. The matter would be heard again on 16 January, but the mosque was demolished before that, it added.
As per a copy of the High Court order as seen on Livelaw, the Court dismissed the petition filed by the Shahi Masjid Intezamia Committee, as the mosque was found to have encroached public land.
Next, we accessed a copy of a statement issued by Prayagraj Police which mentioned that the mosque had been demolished for road widening.
The Quint reached out to Prayagraj Police's media cell, who corroborated the information from the news reports.
"The claim about the Pakistan flag is false. The Public Works Department is working to widen the Prayagraj-Handia road, and the Shahi Masjid located in Saidabad was demolished as a part of this project. The department was in touch with the mosque's committee and it was demolished after both parties reached an agreement."Prayagraj Police media cell
Conclusion: The mosque in the video was not demolished for hoisting the Pakistani national flag on its dome, but was demolished for a road widening project in Uttar Pradesh's Handia.
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