(Editor's Note: The story was first published on 18 June 2019 and is being republished from The Quint's archives in the light of the picture recirculating after India beat Pakistan in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.)
A picture tweeted by one Ibn Sina has gone viral, in which several youth, with Pakistan flags, can be seen holding a banner that reads: "WE DON'T WANT KASHMIR GIVE US VIRAT KOHLI.”
The photo was also retweeted by writer Madhu Kishwar, who said:
While the Kannada headline translates to “'We don't need Kashmir, we need Virat Kohli'; New movement launched in Pakistan!”, the Malayalam headline reads: “Don’t Want Kashmir, Give Us Virat Kohli, Says Fan base in Pakistan”
TRUE OR FALSE?
The picture in question has been photoshopped to include the words "WE DON'T WANT KASHMIR GIVE US VIRAT KOHLI".
This was purportedly done in a bid to claim that the youth in the photo are Pakistani fans, asking for Indian Cricket team's captain Virat Kohli, after the team won its match against Pakistan in the World Cup on 16 June.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search led to an August 2016 India Today article on Kashmiri youth raising pro-Pakistan slogans in the Valley, following Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani's death.
The original picture, in fact, shows Kashmiri youth standing with a banner which reads "WE WANT AZAADI".
NOT THE FIRST TIME
Incidentally, this banner has been tampered with on multiple occasions before this, to include the names of different tournaments, cricketers and even news channels in the past.
A 2017 report by SMHoaxSlayer mentions that this template was repeatedly edited by the Twitter account @SirJadejaOfc.
The Twitter account is now suspended, but the template clearly lives on.