An infographic comparing photos of Nainital, a popular hill station, is widely circulating on social media. The infographic shows two images twelve years apart. The first image, captioned “Nainital 2010,” represents a road with a few pedestrians. The second image captioned “Nainital 2022”, shows thousands of Muslims, publicly offering namaz.
The infographic plays into the popular belief that Muslims are having a population boom in India, a myth that has been debunked year after year.
User @kannadaveera shared the infographic on Twitter with the caption, “Those who know they know.”
Various Twitter users shared the infographic with different captions that essentially suggested the same.
We performed a Google reverse image search on the photo and came across the same image on a travel blog called Indian Holiday. The article suggested that the photo was clicked at Mall Road in Nainital.
The photo attached to the blog was of better quality, and upon close observation, we could notice the names of stores that are present on the road. One signboard was of “Domino’s pizza” and a part of another word is legible. It reads “Alk”.
Taking these clues we performed a Google search and found that the photo is indeed from Mall Road in Nainital. Below we have juxtaposed photos of the street from Google Maps along with the coordinates.
For the second image, we again performed a Google reverse image search and came across a news report by Al Jazeera that carried the same image and was published in 2018. The photo has been credited to journalist Mahmud Hossain Opu.
According to the report, the photo was taken in Bangladesh during the annual Islamic gathering, Biswa Ijtema, which took place on the banks of the Turag River, about 35km from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. It is the second-largest Muslim gathering in the world.
Alt News contacted Mahmud Hossain Abu who confirmed to us that the photo was indeed clicked by him. “This picture was taken from the Tongi area during Bishwa Ijtema in 2018. Where thousands of Muslims offer Friday prayer,” said Mahmud.
To conclude, a photo clicked during the Bishwa Ijtema in Bangladesh was shared with a misleading claim. Photos from this gathering were also viral in 2021 and were debunked by Alt News.
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