“Ban offering of Namaz on roads on #SecularIndia. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia This is NOT allowed in Islamic countries. Why it is allowed here ????? #PayalRohatgi,” read a June 3 tweet by Payal Rohatgi where she shared a photograph of hundreds of people offering Namaz on the road, thus blocking traffic.

The same image has been circulating on social media since the past one week. “इस्लामिक देशों में जो गलत है वह भारत में सही कैसे..?? सड़कों पर नमाज पढ़ना प्रतिबंधित है इस्लामिक देशों में भारत में सड़कों पर नमाज पढ़ना क्यों प्रतिबंधित नहीं हो सकता क्यों गुलामी करने पर मजबूर हो….???? (How can something that is wrong in Islamic countries be right in India? If offering Namaz on the streets is banned in Islamic nations, why can’t it be banned in India? Why are we acting like slaves?)” – read the caption used to share the photograph on a Facebook page भाई राहुल रामराज.

The identical image has also been floating on social media on Eid, June 5, with the caption – “ध्यान से देखो इस फोटो मे इसमें बसें, कार, टैक्सी, जीप, एम्बुलेंस और इनमे स्कूल जाते बच्चे, ऑफिस जाते लोग, यात्री, राही होंगे, एम्बुलेंस मे पेशेंट होंगे पर इन सभी से ज्यादा जरुरी अल्लाह की इबादत है कोई अस्थमा, दमा, हार्ट पेशंट मर भी जाए तो क्या…इबादत पहले है (See this photograph carefully. This has buses, cars, jeep, ambulance and school-going kids, office-goers, commuters and pedestrians. The ambulance must be carrying patients but it’s more important to worship Allah. Even if asthma or a heart patient dies, worship comes first.)” The screenshot below is from the facebook group WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI.

Image from Bangladesh

If one notices carefully, the viral photograph carries a stamp that says – “robertharding.com.”

A simple reverse-search on Google throws up the link of the website where the image was uploaded. The website describes the photograph as – “Muslims are praying at in the road due to large number Muslims gathered at Bishaw ijtema at Tongi, Bangladesh.” It has also given the name of the photographer, M. Yousuf Tusha.

Several other similar photographs shot at the same location in Bangladesh are also available on Getty Images.

Social media claims that people offering namaz blocked roads in India are, thus, false as the image is from Bangladesh.

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.