BJP Delhi spokesperson Ajay Sherawat recently shared a video claiming that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised during a campaign rally of SP-RLD alliance candidate Neeraj Chaudhary. Zee News journalist Sonu Sharma quote-tweeted Sherawat’s post, expressing his concern at the incident if it indeed occurred. BJP spokesperson Navin Kumar Jindal also shared the video with the same claim.

Sudarshan News wrote, “SP-RLD alliance on anti-national path after opposition by Hindus. Pro-pakistan sloganeering by supporters in Bijnor.” (archived link)

Many prominent media organisations also reported the alleged news and claimed that 25 unidentified supporters were booked by the police. The title of a report by Asianet News also claimed that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ was chanted although the same report also carries a statement by Neeraj Chaudhary where he has clarified that the slogan which was chanted was ‘Aaqif Bhai Zindabad’.

2022-02-03 23_41_30-चुनाव प्रचार के बीच लगे पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद के नारे RLD प्रत्याशी के खिलाफ दर्ज ह

Bijnor police registered an FIR in the case and claimed that “objectionable” slogans were raised in the presence of SP-RLD alliance candidate Neeraj Chaudhary.

Fact-check

RLD candidate Neeraj Chaudhary issued a statement saying this was a conspiracy to defame him. He told the media to listen to the viral clip carefully to confirm that his supporters were chanting ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’. In fact, Aqif bhai can also be seen in this video. Chaudhary stated, “Aqif (mispronounced ‘Aqib’) Ansari is a member of Mohalla Julahan. The organisation held a rally where supporters gathered in large numbers. Upon seeing us, the people started chanting, ‘Neeraj Chaudhary Zindabad’, ‘Jayant Chaudhary Zindabad’, and ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’. The slogan of ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’ has gone viral with this claim that the chant was ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. Even more surprising is that an FIR has also been registered against us based purely on the clip.”

Local news portal Bijnor Express also reported the same. Alt News can also confirm after listening to the claim that ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’ was chanted at the rally.

Alt News spoke to Aqif Ansari who said, “I came to know that this video was circulated and made viral by the opposition. There was an RLD election rally in which a huge crowd had gathered. The slogans raised were ‘Jayant Chaudhary Zindabad’ and ‘Neeraj Chaudhary Zindabad’. People also raised slogans in my name, ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’. The same video was shared by the IT cell with a false claim about pro-Pakistan sloganeering. All this was done to influence the election.”

RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary tweeted on the matter, saying that ‘Aqif Bhai Zindabad’ was being misinterpreted as ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.

Alt News has observed that supporters of the BJP often portray members of opposition as pro-Pakistan. We have debunked several such claims where names of leaders have been misrepresented as ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.