A video is circulating on WhatsApp showing a group of men slaughtering a cow on the Indian national flag. Several individuals have sent verification requests of the video on the Alt News app specifically asking whether the incident took place in Hyderabad in the view of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
A Facebook user Manasvi Arpitha posted a clipped version of the video with the message “ಮಿತ್ರರೇ ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ನಿಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ಕೈ ಜೋಡಿಸಿ ಹೇಳ್ತಿದೀನಿ ಈ ವಿಡಿಯೋ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಗ್ರೂಪ್ ಗಳಿಗೆ ಶೇರ್ ಮಾಡಿ, ನಾಳೆ ಸಂಜೆ ವರೆಗೂ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ನ್ಯೂಸ್ ಚಾನೆಲ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರಲೇಬೇಕು ಜನತೆಯು ಧ್ವನಿ ಎತ್ತಬೇಕು, ಈ ಹಿಂಸೆಗಳು ನಿಲ್ಲಬೇಕು. ನಿಜವಾಗಲು ನಿಮಗೆ ದೇಶ ಭಾಷೆ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅಭಿಮಾನ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಶೇರ್ ಮಾಡಿ ಗೆಳೆಯರೇ Respect our nation language and our culture” (Google translation – “Friends, please join us and share this video with more and more groups. If you are a fan of country language Kannada for real, please share respect our nation language and our culture.”
Alt News reserve searched one of the frames of the video and found the same clip uploaded on YouTube on March 2, 2019. The background music in the video is a song dedicated to Pakistan. There are several other clues which further suggest that the video is from Pakistan.
- The national flag of Pakistan
- The YouTube channel which uploaded the video is named ‘Pakistan Sunni Tahreek Hyderabad’ which is an Islamist organisation based in Pakistan. According to its Facebook page, the group is a political and religious organisation founded on March 17, 2014. Hyderabad is a city located in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
Moreover, the video’s existence since at least March 2, 2019, proves that it cannot pertain to any incident that took place after the CAA was passed on December 11, 2019.
Alt News also found pictures of this incident posted on UrduPoint, a Pakistani web portal, and Pakistan Point, a news outlet based in Pakistan. These pictures were posted on March 1, 2019. The picture posted on Pakistan Point is accompanied with the caption, “Workers of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek slaughtering a cow on Indian flag during a protest against Indian aggression in Kashmir and challenge the sovereignty of Pakistan, in Hyderabad.”
A keyword search on Google – ‘Pakistan Sunni Tahreek Hyderabad’ – and filtering the results to view only news articles led us to an August 20, 2019, report by Jansatta. The article claims that the video was made by people associated with Pakistan Sunni Tehreek-e-Hyderabad on August 15 (India’s Independence Day) as a response to the repealing of provisions of Article 370 granting special state status to Jammu and Kashmir. Jansatta had based its claim on a tweet by @imamofpeace.
Graphic warning. Pakistanis slaughtering a cow on the Indian flag to “own” and insult India on its independence day. This is not a normal society. They are a stain on this planet. They do not deserve our taxes or any foreign aid. pic.twitter.com/bIiCYADoJz
— Imam of Peace (@Imamofpeace) August 19, 2019
However, Jansatta’s report is also factually incorrect because the video has been available on the internet at least five months before independence day was observed.
Sunni Tahreek had organised a similar event in December 2015 after former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan.
یہ گھٹیا پن کی نیئ حد ھے
حیدرآباد: سنی تحریک نے شُشماسوراج کے پاکستان آنے پر بھارتی جھنڈے پر گائے ذبح کر کے احتجاج pic.twitter.com/G9dml1xWyf
— Haji S. Pasha (@HarPasha) December 10, 2015
Below is a collage of the events held in 2019 and 2015 where the same man can be seen.
A video of people slaughtering a cow on the Indian national flag has thus been shared with the false claim that the incident is related to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.