Photos of Crowds from Africa Falsely Shared as Bulandshahr Ijtema
The photo is definitely from the Bulandshahr, because it has been viral since at least 2016. 
The photo is definitely from the Bulandshahr, because it has been viral since at least 2016. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Photos of Crowds from Africa Falsely Shared as Bulandshahr Ijtema

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CLAIM

A viral photo on social media shows massive crowds gathered at the Bulandshahr Ijtema (congregation), which concluded on 3 December.

(Photo: via WhatsApp)

The photo was shared by Facebook pages to portray the crowds that had purportedly gathered at the Ijtema.

The Bulandshshr Ijtema was a three-day Islamic congregation held between 1 and 3 December, which saw over 10 lakh Muslims come into the town for the vent, according to media reports. The congregation was also attended by several people from even the Gulf nations, including preachers and scholars.

TRUE OR FALSE?

The image is certainly not from India, a simple Google reverse search proved. The complete photo shows that the picture has been taken in an African nation. Further, closer inspection of the attire and caps worn by the men in the crowds indicate that it is from an African nation.

PHOTO VIRAL SINCE 2016

Further, the photo has been viral on social media since at least 2016.

A second reverse image search of this image threw up results of a 2017 news report from Derwaza, Kuwait-based organisation claiming that the photo was from Tanzania.

Incidentally, the photo was also used by BD True News in a report dated 26 February 2018 to show crowds at the Aurangabad Ijtema.

Hence, while we are not able to ascertain which African nation the photo was shot in, it clearly is not from the Bulandshahr Ijtema.

NOT THE FIRST TIME

This is hardly the first time that misleading photos have been used to exaggerate crowds at an event, both religious and political.

Earlier, photos from the Maratha stir that rocked Maharashtra in 2017 were passed off as crowds at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Dharam Sabha’ that was held in Ayodhya on 25 November.

Not just that, an old image from a UP police campaign dating to May 2018 was used by Hindu groups to show police purportedly helping out Ram bhakts who were senior citizens.

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