Old Photo of Raid at Bhopal Hookah Bar Revived With a Communal Spin
A total of 26 boys and 7 girls were arrested during the raid at the hookah bar in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal.
A photograph showing a group of young boys and girls has gone viral with a claim that states that the group was detained during a raid at a hookah joint in Madhya Pradesh and it constituted 15 Muslim boys and 15 Hindu girls.
However, we found that the claim shared with the viral photograph was not true. The image was from a raid that took place in July 2020 in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal. A total of 33 people were arrested in the incident, which included 26 boys and seven girls under various sections of the IPC.
The Bhopal police PRO informed us that while all but one of the seven arrested girls belonged to the Hindu community, the arrested boys were from both Hindu and the Muslim community.
The text shared with the viral photograph reads, "मध्यप्रदेश के जिस हुक्का बार पर कल छापा पड़ा था , उसमें 30 लोग पकड़ाए हैं , 15 लड़के और 15 लड़कियां । सब लड़कियां खाते पीते घर की हैं , लेकिन देखने वाली बात ये है कि सभी लड़के मुसलमान हैं और सभी लड़कियां हिन्दू हैं , एक भी मुस्लिम लड़की नहीं है । यदि किसी को इस बारे में कुछ सोचना हो तो थोड़ा संतुलित दिमाग लगाकर सोचे .. वरना जो चल रहा है, वो तो है ही ।"
(Translation: 30 people were arrested in the raid at a hookah bar in Madhya Pradesh, out of which 15 were boys and 15 were girls. All the girls seemed to be from well-to-do families, but the thing to note is that all the boys are Muslims and all the girls are Hindus, there is not a single Muslim girl. If anyone has to think about this, then think with a composed mind... Otherwise, what is going on is in front of us.)
The same photo and text was shared by several users on Facebook and we also found that the claim to be viral on Telegram.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse image search of the viral photograph on Google and found a few news reports which carried the same photograph, talking about a raid at a hookah bar conducted by the Crime Branch.
A report published in Dainik Bhaskar said that the incident took place in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, where some young people were celebrating the birthday of one Naved Khan.
It also said that the police arrested a total of 33 people, of which there were 26 boys and seven girls. The incident took place on 24 July 2020, while a COVID-19 lockdown was still in place in the city.
We contacted Bhopal Police PRO Navin Kumar and he confirmed to The Quint that the photograph being shared was from a raid conducted last year. He also said that no such raid had been conducted recently in Bhopal.
Kumar informed us that a press release of the incident carrying the names of all the accused was published on the Facebook page of Bhopal police. The Facebook post from July last year also carried the viral photograph.
The names mentioned in the press release show that 26 boys and 7 girls were arrested under various sections of the IPC and not 15 boys and 15 girls, as mentioned in the viral post. The names also indicate that not all of those arrested boys belonged to one community.
Kumar also confirmed to us that there was no communal angle in the entire incident and said that such a claim was made viral last year as well.
Evidently, an old photograph of a raid in Bhopal was shared with a false claim that all the female detainees were Hindus while the boys were all Muslims.
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