Fact Check: The truth behind police distributing ‘tasbih’ to Muslims in Maharashtra
The Shiv Sena, along with the NCP and Congress, has managed to cobble together a coalition government in Maharashtra over the last week. Though many social media users have termed the arrangement opportunistic and attacked the Sena for backstabbing its 30-year-old partner BJP, some have given a communal twist to unrelated events and linked them with the government formation.
On Twitter, a video is going viral showing policemen distributing tasbih’ (a string of beads) to Muslims on a street. Taking a dig at the Uddhav Thackeray government, political commentator Madhu Purnima Kishwar tweeted the video along with a caption in Hindi, which translates to, Secularism starts. Wave of secularism sweeps Maharashtra soon after swearing-in. Police are calling people and distributing tasbih after Friday prayers outside Kausa masjid in Mumbra. Jai Maharashtra.
India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim to be misleading. The event seen in the video is part of Qaumi Ekta Saptah’ (National Integration Week) which is conducted every year in the country to encourage communal harmony. It is wrong to say that the event took place only after the new government was formed in Maharashtra.
Till the filing of this story, Kishwar’s tweet has been retweeted almost 4,000 times. The 30-second video has been viewed more than 65,400 times. The archived version of the post can be seen here.
The video is also doing the rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp.
We reached out to senior inspector of Mumbra police station MS Kad to find out the truth behind the claim. He confirmed that the video is indeed from Mumbra and this annual event has nothing to do with the new government.
Kad said, The event was part of Qaumi Ekta Saptah, which is celebrated across the country every year to promote communal harmony. The week is celebrated to narrow the gap and build confidence between police and community. This particular event took place on Friday, November 29.
National Integration Week is an event conceptualised by the central government to reinforce the spirit of communal harmony all over the country. The programme commences on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, i.e. November 19 every year, and is followed for a week. Last year, the event was held from November 19-25.
Inspector Kad also clarified that this year, the programme stretched till November 29 due to late commencement of the event by them. The Mumbra event was covered by Marathi newspaper Lokmat.
India Today also spoke to sub-inspector Vinayak Karade who is seen in the viral video. Karade told us that they distributed tasbih’ outside Mumbra’s Kausa mosque on November 29 to celebrate Qaumi Ekta Saptah.
Karade said, Not only during Qaumi Ekta Saptah, but we also greet and sometimes distribute roses among the Muslim community every Friday. We believe that this promotes integrity between people and narrows down distance between them. The claim with the video is politically motivated.
Karade also sent us some photos showing him and other cops distributing roses to Muslims. He said these photos were taken on November 22.
We also tried to contact members of the Kausa mosque. The article will be updated once they respond.
But it can be said that the event seen in the viral video is part of the National Integration Week observed every year all over the country and not something started by the new Maharashtra government.
Courtesy :India Today