An image that portrays two men holding up a banner that reads, “बराए मेहरबानी कोई भी नमाज़ी मस्जिद के बाहर सड़क पर नमाज़ न पढ़ें” (Translation: Please do not pray outside the mosque on the road) is going viral. According to the text on the banner, it was put up outside the Darbaar Wali Masjid in Bhawani Nagar, Meerut. This image is going viral with the claim that after the police registered FIRs against 150 people for publicly offering namaz on the road in Agra without permission, this banner was put up outside a mosque in Meerut. The claim is followed by a remark on how Yogi Adityanath’s government is setting an example with a strict law and order system in the state.

Journalist Ashok Shrivastav posted this image on Twitter with the same claim and garnered over 5,000 likes and almost 1,500 retweets.

This image has also been shared several times on Facebook with the same claim.

यूपी में भाजपा योगी सरकार को दिए आपके 1 वोट की ताकत। 🚩🚩🚩

Posted by Narottam Mishra Fan Club on Friday, 22 April 2022

Fact check

Upon reverse image searching, Alt News found a Navbharat Times article dated August 16, 2019 with the same image.

Additionally, an Inshorts article from three years ago has cited a tweet from the official handle of Meerut police. The tweet also contains the same image and is captioned, “पटेल मण्डप वाली मस्जिद पर इमाम हाजी अख्तर ने बैनर लगाए” (Translation: Imam Haji Akhtar put up banners at the mosque in Patel Mandap). The tweet is dated August 16, 2019.

Apart from this, a Facebook post was also found dated August 16, 2019 by IPS Ajay Sahni.

पटेल मण्डप वाली मस्जिद पर इमाम हाजी अख्तर ने बैनर लगाए

Posted by IPS Ajay Sahni on Friday, 16 August 2019

This banner was put up outside the Darbaar Wali Masjid in Bhawani Nagar in 2019 as part of an initiative by the UP police which urged people to refrain from offering their prayers on the road as it disrupted traffic. “On special occasions, when a large crowd gathers for offering prayers on festivals, it could be allowed by the district administration, but this practice will not be allowed as a routine during every Friday prayer,” Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh had said in this regard. In view of this, banners were also put up in different places.

On April 22, 2022, following Yogi Adityanath’s ban on religious programmes on the road, over 150 people were booked in Agra for offering namaz on the street in front of a mosque without permission. But it is clear that the picture that is viral right now is not linked to this incident.

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About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.