A video of a group of policemen saluting Hazrat Pir Makhdoom Ali Mahim is circulating on social media with the claim that these are Mumbai cops paying their respects to the Sufi saint for the first time because of the Shiv Sena. From the Facebook account of one Kajal Shingala, the video drew 11,000 views and over 1,200 likes.

 

मुंबई पोलीस द्वारा पहली बार पीर हजरत मकदूम शाह को सलामी

शिवसेना अब अपने अंतिम पड़ाव पर है…👇🏻

Posted by Kajal Shingala on Friday, 14 May 2021

It has also been shared on Twitter.

A Facebook page named Bakauli shared the video the same claim in January this year. (Archive link)

शिवसेना

मुंबई पोलीस द्वारा पहली बार पीर हजरत
मकदूम शाह को सलामी
शिवसेना अब अपने – अंतिम पड़ाव पे ..

Posted by बकलोली on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

‘हिंदू राष्ट्र’ (Hindu Rashtra), another Facebook page, also posted the clip and accompanying claim. (Archive link)

 

मुंबई पोलीस द्वारा पहली बार पीर हजरत
मकदूम शाह को सलामी
शिवसेना अब अपने अंतिम पड़ाव पे है..🤔🤔

Posted by हिंदू राष्ट्र on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This video is being shared on Twitter and Facebook with similar assertions. RSS-affiliated Sunaina Hole shared the clip in a tweet, tagging both the Mumbai police and Uddhav Thackeray. It had received more than 20,000 views at the time of writing. (Archive link)

Fact-check

Alt News performed a keyword search and found that the video is genuine. However, this is not the first time that the Mumbai police has paid respects to Hazrat Pir Mahim by offering a sacred sheet at the Mahim Dargah. For the past several years, Mumbai police has been offering sheets on the occasion of Urs (Makhdoom Shah Baba’s death anniversary). Another video of police personnel offering sheets at the Dargah was uploaded in December 2020 on YouTube.

In fact, we found videos when the event was held in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014 to 2019 thus the occasion was held during BJP’s rule as well.

On December 14, 2016, Mumbai police also tweeted a few photos of their cops offering a sheet at the Dargah, adding that it was an annual tradition.

ABP Majha reported on December 26, 2020, that for the first time in 120 years, there would be no Urs fair at the Mahim Dargah. The occasion would instead be celebrated with a simple ceremony. It also mentioned that the Mumbai police are the first to offer a shrine at the Dargah. The entire police force participates in this ritual. However, in 2020, only a few policemen carryed out this tradition due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Therefore, a video of the Mumbai police’s yearly tradition of offering a sacred sheet at the Mahim Dargah was given a false political spin on social media. The event wasn’t held for the ‘first time’ during Shiv Sena’s governance but has also been held during BJP’s rule.

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