A Twitter handle @GahlotKanpur whose bio reads “active BJP worker” shared two photographs — an image of Muslim women talking to AIMIM chief Asaddudin Owaisi juxtaposed with a picture of a topless woman. One of the women in the first image, highlighted in red, is being claimed to be the semi-naked woman. “शाहीन बाग की दूसरी शेरनी सबीना बानो का नीला चल चित्र मिला है..!! (A video of Shaheen Bagh’s second lioness has been found.)” — reads the message shared with the video.

Another user @sandeepmjainjai whose bio reads “RSS BJP Hindu” and adorns a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his display picture also shared the two pictures.

The same has been shared on Facebook. A post by one Aashish Kumar garnered over 100 likes.

We also found a few users asking people to drop them messages if they wish to see a “colourful video of Sabina Bano”.

Photograph lifted from pornographic sites

A reverse-image search led us to several Indian porn websites where multiple photographs of the semi-naked woman were found. Along with photographs, we also found video clips of the woman with another person. In the likelihood that the videos were leaked without her knowledge, we are refraining from attaching any visuals apart from the one which is already viral. We did a facial comparison of the woman with the student activist. Quite evidently, they are not the same person.

A random, explicit image was picked up and juxtaposed with a photograph from December 2019 when Jamia students and activists Ladeeda Farzana and Aysha Renna met with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Viral messages misidentify Farzana as “Sabina Bano”.

“That is obviously not me in the picture. This isn’t new. Anyone who criticises or speaks against the Sangh Parivar, they are targetted in this manner. They can continue with their dirty games but I will not step back. I will continue to raise my voice. This does not affect me,” Farzana told Alt News.

Last month we had debunked another pornographic photograph/ video circulating in JMI scholar Safoora Zargar’s name. Zargar was three months pregnant when she was lodged in Tihar jail in April under the draconian UAPA. The emerging trend of targeting prominent women student activists through pornographic content is worrisome, especially in the absence of any action from either social media companies or law enforcement agencies.

[Update: Ladeeda Farzana was misidentified as Ladeeda Zargar in the article. The same has been rectified.]

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.