A video is being shared widely on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in which a group of people are seen standing next to a man who appears to be a Maulvi (cleric) reciting verses. It has been claimed that a cleric was reciting religious verses at the inauguration of the Collector’s office in Telangana. Twitter user ‘Hum Log We The People’ tweeted this video with a similar claim. The user wrote, “Has Telangana become India’s first Islamic state?” The tweet garnered more than 23,000 views as of this writing. (Archived link)

Another Twitter user amplified the video with the same claim. (Archived link)

It is also widespread on Facebook and Twitter.

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Fact Check

Alt News performed a keyword search to gather more information about the video. This led us to a video report dated June 4, 2023 by ‘T News Telugu’ titled, “CM KCR felicitates Nirmal Collector, KCR inaugurates Integrated Nirmal Collectorate”. Nirmal is a district in Telangana.

In this six-minute video report, scenes from the viral video appear at the 1:38 mark. It is seen in the video that the Maulvi is reciting Kalma. A Christian priest can also be seen reciting something after the 2:52 mark.

Alt News also spotted Hindu priests in several frames of the video, which we have indicated with a red arrow in the following images:

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Upon further investigation, Alt News found a YouTube video of Telangana chief minister’s office. The video, which is about 39-minute long, also covers the inauguration of the integrated collectorate of Nirmal district by the chief minister of Telangana. In this video, after the 9:53 mark, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and some priests are also seen together. Nirmal district collector Kranti Varun Reddy is also present.

In this video report, after the 10:33 mark, the worshipers perform aarti for 3 minutes and 34 seconds with Hindu customs. Later, at the 13:49 mark, District Collector Varun Reddy sits on the chair and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao greets him. In this video, after the 15:22 mark, the cleric recites Kalima and at the 16:38 mark, the priest offers prayers, just like in the viral video.

Alt News also found a tweet from the collector of Nirmal district, dated June 4. He tweeted pictures of the inauguration ceremony. In some of these pictures, he is also seen with a Hindu priest.

To sum up, a video of the inauguration of the integrated collectorate of Telangana’s Nirmal district was shared on social media with the misleading claim that a Maulvi recited Kalma at the function. However, in reality, the inauguration ceremony was attended by priests of Hindu, Muslim and Christian faith.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.