“Pakistan’s flag is imprinted on the tanga owned by Noor Alam and Wasir that they have been using for 20 years and they claim they are unaware (that Pakistan’s flag is imprinted on the tanga). They have a problem saying ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ but have no shame saying ‘Pakistan Zindabad’,” a man alleges in a video posted by Newsroom Post

The man harasses two poor tanga drivers from the Muslim community, forcing them to chant ‘Hindustan Zindabad’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. He continues to hound them to sloganeer even after the poor drivers make the chants. Angered by the unreasonable coverage, Wasir questions the man why should they make the chants and ends the conversation by saying that he will hail both countries.

Dainik Jagran also carried a story claiming that the tanga was painted with the flag of Pakistan.

The video was earlier viral on social media.

The earliest instance that we could locate was shared at 9:25 AM on August 24 by a Twitter user.

Pro-BJP propaganda website Kreately shared the video tagging UP and Lucknow police.

Not Pakistan’s flag

Newsroom Post also published an article on the video. While the article claimed, “People stopped a tanga driver after they spotted Pakistan’s flag on the tanga,” the second paragraph stated that the police found the tanga was painted with ‘karbala symbol’ and not the flag of Pakistan. The police spoke to both parties – the tanga driver and people who accused him of driving a tanga with Pakistan’s flag – and the matter was sorted after it was concluded the tanga adorned an Islamic symbol.

Lucknow police confirmed the same to Alt News. “The tanga was painted with moon and star. Not the flag of Pakistan. After the controversy, the tanga driver painted that area with black colour. No complaint was filed,” the police said. Any action against the people who harassed the tanga driver is yet to be taken. The police said that he did not file a complaint.

Newsroom Post omitted this crucial detail while running the video on Twitter.

A cursory look at the paint job is enough to discern that it is not the flag of Pakistan. The latter has a crescent and star at a 45-degree angle and a white stripe on the left. It must be noted that the crescent is a common Islamic symbol.

Two tanga drivers were hounded by locals. Certain media outlets, journalists and propaganda websites amplified the misinformation online. Below is a tweet by Dainik Jagran editor Pawan Tiwari.

Tiwari shared another video that shows the drivers were forced to raise the Indian flag and sloganeer ‘Hindustan Zindabad’. He mockingly wrote in another tweet that the drivers turned into ‘nationalists’ after the police’s intervention.

Alt News has published several reports in the past when Islamic flags or flags of Islamic organisations were misrepresented as the Pakistan flag.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.