An old, photoshopped image of Lal Chowk in Srinagar is being massively shared on Twitter with a claim that the national flag is flying atop the clock tower there.
The picture was shared by BJP leader Kapil Mishra, BJP Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and several others crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for it, on the eve of Independence Day.
However, we could trace the photograph back to 2010 and noticed that it has been photoshopped to add the national flag.
Mishra tweeted the image with a claim which read, “Tiranga at Lal Chowk”. This tweet has been shared over 4,500 times and has garnered over 25,000 reactions since it was shared at 10:15 pm on Friday, 14 August.
The tweet has been shared by several others since.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
On conducting a reverse image search on the image by using Yandex search engine, we came across a blogpost by a user ‘Mubasshir Mushtaq’, who identifies himself as a freelance journalist. Mushtaq had used this photo in his story titled ‘Paradise Lost?’ in 2010.
We noticed that the photo in the blog was the same but was without a national flag on the tower.
We then contacted Mushtaq who corroborated that the image was taken by him on 22 June 2010. He also shared the original file with us and on checking the metadata we found that the picture was indeed from 2010.
Further when we checked the recent images of Lal Chowk, which are publicly available, we noticed changes in the area over the years.
If one notices the building on the right, the difference can be seen. The image on the left is from 2019.
We even came across an image from August 2020 on Getty Images, which shows the same structure as the one in the 2019 image.
Clearly, an old, photoshopped image is being used to claim that the national flag is flying atop the clock tower in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)