A video showing a massive crowd holding saffron flags is being circulated with the claim that it shows Hindus standing in solidarity outside a mosque after clashes took place in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Friday, 25 December.
However, we were able to trace the viral visuals to April 2019 and found that they are from Karnataka’s Gulbarga when people were celebrating Ram Navami.
The claim along with the video reads: “मध्य प्रदेश के उज्जैन मे जिहादी मुल्लो द्वारा पथराव के खिलाफ हिन्दुओं ने मस्जिद के सामने अपनी एकता का परिचय दिखाया |”
(Translated: Hindus showed unity in front of a mosque after jihadis pelted stones in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain.)
Several social media users shared the video on Twitter and Facebook with the same claim.
The Quint received a query on the claim made in the viral video on its WhatsApp tipline as well.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We divided the video into multiple keyframes using InVid Google Chrome extension and then conducted a reverse search on them using Yandex. This led us to a YouTube video uploaded in April 2019.
The YouTube video showed similar visuals as that of the viral one and was uploaded with the caption that stated it was from Kalaburgi in Karnataka.
It further mentioned that the video shows Ram Navami celebrations. We then searched on YouTube using keywords “Ram Navami Kalaburgi” and came across a longer version of the viral video.
This video, too, was uploaded in April 2019 and several physical structures and frames were same as the viral video.
GOOGLE MAP VIEW SHOWS VIDEO IS FROM GULBARGA
To ascertain the location, we carefully looked at the YouTube video and noticed two things: a shop named ‘Basavaganga Medical and Enterprises’ and the word ‘Quadri’ mentioned on the mosque.
We also located the same on Google maps and found that the mosque as well as the shop are located in the same area as seen in the viral visuals. One can also see the tall white building in the viral video in the same area (yellow arrow).
We were also able to match the mosque seen in the viral video with that on Google maps.
LOCALS CONFIRM THE VIDEO IS FROM GULBARGA
We then contacted a local shopkeeper, Shivraj, at the Basavanganga Medical and Enterprises, who said that the video is certainly old and shows Ram Navami celebrations.
“The video is definitely not from this year because such celebrations didn’t happen due to COVID-19.”Shivraj, Local Shopkeeper
We also spoke to a police officer in Gulbarga who denied any communal angle to the incident and said that the video is definitely an old one and added that such huge processions weren’t allowed this year because of the ongoing pandemic.
A local reporter also confirmed to The Quint that the video is indeed from Gulbarga. The reporter further denied any communal angle to the incident and said that there is communal harmony in the area.
WHAT HAPPENED IN MP’S UJJAIN?
According to a report in The Indian Express, on 25 December, a clash took place in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain when nearly 60 bikers and 300 workers of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) took out a bike rally raising slogans in the Begum Bagh area.
The rally allegedly witnessed stone pelting as it passed through the Muslim dominated area to collect funds for constructing the Ram Mandir in UP’s Ayodhya, reported ThePrint. However, locals in Begum Bagh have alleged that inflammatory slogans were raised and that is what provoked them. They have also claimed that the Hindus were the first ones to pelt stones which prompted them to retaliate.
FIRs have been registered in the matter from both sides and the police has booked four people under the National Security Act (NSA), while three others have been charged with rioting and attempt to murder.
While clashes did take place in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain recently, we were able to verify that the viral video is not from Ujjain. Rather, it shows Ram Navami celebrations in Karnataka’s Gulbarga.
(With inputs from ThePrint and The Indian Express)