The image of a padlocked grave has gone viral. In media reports and social media posts, it is being linked to rising necrophilia cases in Pakistan, with the claim that the image is an example of how mothers lock their daughters’ graves in Pakistan in order to prevent rape.

ANI Digital tweeted the image with the above claim. In their article titled ‘Pakistani parents lock daughters’ graves to avoid rape’, they cited a Daily Times article to report that parents in Pakistan guarded their dead daughters against rape by putting padlocks on their graves. The viral picture has been used in the ANI article with the caption, ‘Pakistani parents locking up graves of daughters to protect their dead bodies from getting raped’ and they have credited Twitter for the image. (Archive)

Several major news media outlets published ANI’s report from their syndicated feed, the Times of India being one of them. TOI used the same image as ANI. (Archive)

NDTV used the image in their report as well. This story, too, is from a syndicated feed which means that NDTV, too, cited the same Daily Times article as ANI. (Archive)

Zee News published a video report where they used the same image. (Archive)

In a now-deleted article, Hindustan Times reported this news with the same picture.

Other media outlets, including Mirror Now, ThePrint, India Today, Wion, IndiaTV, Times Now, DNA India, OpIndia Hindi, News24, ABP News, Amar Ujala, News18, Firstpost and Jagran, used the same image in their respective reports. Most of these stories were from the syndicated feed of ANI.

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Harris Sultan, who is the author of the book ‘The Curse of God – Why I Left Islam’, tweeted the same image and claimed that it was clicked in Pakistan which had a “horny, sexually frustrated society”. He added, “…..When you link the burqa with rape, it follows you to the grave”. A number of the news media outlets mentioned above have used Harris’ tweet in their reports. (Archive)

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, tweeted the image with the caption ‘Pakistan: Parents padlock graves of deceased daughters to prevent necrophilia’. (Archive)

Other users, including Twitter Blue subscribers @MrSinha_, @instablog9ja, @ImtiazMadmood, Pakistan Untold and @TheSkandar, have also tweeted the same image and linked it to Pakistan’s rising cases of necrophilia.

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Fact Check

To begin with, we noticed that the Daily Times article mentioned in the ANI story did not have an image.

Alt News then came to know that the image used by the media outlets was actually from a cemetery in Hyderabad. The cemetery is located opposite Masjid E Salar Mulk, a mosque in Darab Jung Colony, Madannapet, Hyderabad. Below is an image of the Google Street View of the cemetery where the padlocked grave is clearly visible.

We have also screen-recorded how to find the cemetery from the Masjid E Salar Mulk on Google Street View for the advantage of the reader.

Alt News contacted a social worker named Abdul Jaleel who is a resident of Hyderabad. On being requested by us, he visited the spot and provided us with photographs of the grave in question.

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A comparison of these images with the viral image establishes that they depict the same grave. Apart from the green padlocked gate, the tombstone and the positioning of the grave are also the same.

Jaleel spoke to Muqtar Sahab, who is the Muazzin of the Masjid E Salar Mulk. Muqtar Sahab said that the padlocked grave, which was approximately 1.5 to 2-year old, was constructed without the permission of the concerned committee. It is located right in front of the entrance, thus blocking the pathway. This issue was discussed among the Masjid committee members for eight days.

Explaining the reason behind the grille or jaali as Muqtar Sahab called it, he added, “A lot of people come here and bury bodies over the old graves without permission. The people who already have their close ones resting here have had complaints since they come here to read Fateha. In order to prevent others from burying any bodies further, the families have put the grille there.”

On being informed about the image of this grave being circulated with the claim that it is from Pakistan, Muqtar Sahab refuted it and added that the grille was constructed also with a view to preventing people from stamping on the grave since it was right in front of the entrance. Muqtar Sahab corroborated the address of the cemetery as Madannapet, Darab Jung colony, which matched Alt News’ findings as stated earlier.

Alt News also spoke to a local resident whose house is near the mosque. He informed us that the grave belonged to an aged woman who had passed away in her seventies. Her son constructed the grille over the grave about 40 days after she had been buried.

Thus, an image of a padlocked grave is viral on the internet with the claim that it is from Pakistan where parents are locking their daughters’ graves in fear of their bodies being raped. Several major news media outlets like the Times of India, News18, Times Now, NDTV and ThePrint have published syndicated reports with the viral image after ANI’s reportage. In reality, the grave is located in a cemetery in Hyderabad’s Madannapet. Alt News found that the padlock had nothing to do with necrophilia or Pakistan.

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