A picture of a group of young people has been shared with the claim that 30 people were arrested following a raid conducted at a hookah bar in Madhya Pradesh. They purportedly consisted of 15 Muslim boys and 15 Hindu girls. Facebook user Anamika Gupta shared the photo suggesting that Hindu girls were enticed by Muslim boys. (Archive link)
The image is widespread on Facebook.
It has been circulated on Twitter with the same claim and has also made its way to WhatsApp.
Using a reverse image search, Alt News located the original image in a July 24, 2020 article by MP Breaking News. The article said that the police raided a birthday party in Bhopal and detained 26 boys and seven girls. The city had been placed under a complete lockdown from July 24 and the group was arrested for flouting lockdown norms as they were partying at the Trilogy Hookah Lounge in the Shahpur area. Pub manager Ravi Rai and owner Manoj Ramchandani were also arrested for violating Section 144.
The party was thrown by a man named Naved Khan, an alleged history-sheeter.
Live Hindustan also published a report on the incident on July 24, 2020.
However, none of the reports we found contained information on the names or religious affiliations of the detainees. Alt News reached out to Shahpur police for more information. We were told that there was no communal angle to the incident.
On September 7, 2020, Vishvas News published a fact-check article on the viral image. It quoted Bhopal police spokesperson Naveen Kumar as saying, “A total of 33 people were detained in the related case, including seven girls and 26 boys. Of the seven girls, six were Hindu, while one was Christian. At the same time, out of 26 boys, 19 were Muslim and seven were Hindu.” Kumar had also shared a list with Vishwas News containing the names of those detained. There were seven Hindu boys on this list.
More than 30 people were detained in Bhopal for violating lockdown norms last year. A picture of the detention was shared on social media with a false communal angle suggesting that all the female detainees were Hindus while all the boys were Muslims.