All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi addressed a rally at Dumri in Giridih, Jharkhand, on Wednesday, August 30, in favour of his party’s candidate Md Abdul Mobin Rizvi in the upcoming by-election. Owaisi emphasised the need for a third front in the country, maintaining equal distance from the Congress and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Following the rally, a video went viral on social media with the claim that someone from the audience had raised ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan during Owaisi’s speech. Rizvi was later booked for the alleged sloganeering. “It came to our notice that the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad was raised from the audience during the speech of AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. After observing the video recorded during the speech by the video observation team, it was found that the act is a violation of the model code of conduct and an attempt to disturb communal harmony,” the Giridih district administration said in a statement. Giridih deputy commissioner Naman Priyesh Lakra told PTI that an FIR was lodged against Rizvi as he was the organizer of the programme.
Media outlet Aaj Tak reported on the alleged incident. Their reportage is available on their official website with the title, “Jharkhand: ओवैसी की सभा में लगे ‘पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद’ के नारे, दर्ज हुई FIR” (Translation: In Owaisi’s gathering, slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ were raised, FIR registered). (Archive)
ABP News also published a report titled, “Jharkhand: AIMIM चीफ की जनसभा में लगे ‘पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद’ के नारे, भाषण रोक ओवैसी ने डांटा, एसपी ने कही FIR की बात” (Translation: Jharkhand: Slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ raised in AIMIM chief’s public meeting, Owaisi stopped the speech, SP said about FIR). According to the report, a youth from the crowd raised ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans. Owaisi stopped his speech and scolded the young man from the stage itself. (Archive)
Times Now Navbharat also reported on the alleged incident. “On Wednesday, AIMIM chief Owaisi had addressed a rally in Jharkhand’s Dumri where he targeted the government. But during the rally, something happened that made Owaisi a target again. Accusations of anti-national sloganeering have surfaced. In the viral video, during Owaisis’s address, ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans can be heard following which Owaisi stops his speech and scolds the person responsible”. (Archive)
Zee News Hindi also published a similar report on the alleged incident titled, “Asaduddin Owaisi की रैली में लगे ‘पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद’ के नारे, भड़के AIMIM चीफ ने दिया ऐसा रिएक्शन” (Translation: Slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ raised in Asaduddin Owaisi’s rally, angry AIMIM Chief gave this reaction). The report stated that the Pakistan Zindabad sloganeering angered Owaisi who stopped the person and asked them to sit down. (Archive)
News18 Bihar Jharkhand uploaded the clip of the alleged sloganeering on their official YouTube channel with the title, “Asaduddin Owaisi की Rally में Pakistani नारेबाजी, FIR दर्ज | Pakistan zindabad News | Top News”. (Archive)
Other media outlets including Live Hindustan, Prabhat Khabar and Moneycontrol Hindi have published similar reports alleging that Pakistan Zindabad slogans were raised during Owaisi’s rally and subsequent FIRs have been filed.
The claim is viral on Facebook as well.
The official YouTube channel of AIMIM live-streamed Owaisi’s address, wherein we located the key moment. We can ascertain that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were not raised during Owaisi’s speech. The relevant chain of events was this: Owaisi raised the recent Muzaffarnagar incident where a teacher was seen in a video allegedly asking her students to slap a Muslim boy from the class. He remarked that had such an incident taken place in Jharkhand, ‘Shakir would protest the loudest’. This is when someone from the audience, in appreciation of Shakir, said ‘Shakir Saab Zindabad’ (Long Live Shakir Saab). Owaisi responded to the sloganeering and humourously asked the audience member if Shakir Saab had brought him to the rally.
Shakir here refers to Mohammed Shakir, the state president of AIMIM Jharkhand. His picture can be seen on the banner behind Owaisi.
Thus, when put in context with the rest of the speech, it becomes clear that no pro-Pakistan slogans were raised. The slogan actually raised was ‘Shakir Saab Zindabad’.
We have transcribed and translated the relevant portion from the live stream below:
From 34:24: “Toh teacher ne kahi thi, tumne isko achha nahi mara, dam se maaro. Yeh Mohammedan hai. Bataiye aap.. Aur woh bachhe ko maar-pita jata hai, uska video purey desh mein, purey duniya mein chala gaya. Uss bacche ke baap se maine baat ki.. humare wahan ke majlis ke sadar ko bhijwaya. Jis tarah humare sadar jharkhand ka- Kabhi kuch ho jaye toh Shakir daurte hue cheekhein maarta hai. [At this point, a person from the audience says “Shakir Saab Zindabad”. Owaisi responds to them] Arey zinda.. abhi thairo, suno..Shakir Saab leke aaye kya tumko, suno humari baat…”
‘So, the teacher had said, “You didn’t hit him well, hit him with full force. He’s a Muslim.” Imagine! The video of that child being beaten up spread throughout the country, and throughout the world. I spoke to the child’s father… We sent our local leader… just like our leader in Jharkhand… whenever something happens, Shakir raises a voice and gets active. [This is when a person from the audience says “Shakir Saab Zindabad.” Owaisi responds to them] What long live… hold on for a moment, listen… Did Shakir Saab bring you here? Listen to what I have to say’
Below, is a clip of the alleged sloganeering, followed by a slowed-down version to ensure that readers can listen more clearly.
Alt News spoke to Asaduddin Owaisi. Refuting the allegation, he said, “Two national channels have deliberately put out this false information. In fact, I DM-ed one of the journalists from Navbharat who had put out this information and challenged him to file an FIR if he thinks that the information he has shared is true, and asked him if he would publicly apologise if the information turns out to be false.”
We also reached out to Mohammed Shakir, who said, “Barrister Sahab (Owaisi) said a line about me during his speech, he said “Whenever something happens in Jharkhand, our Shakir protests loudly”. Somebody from the audience then shouted ‘Shakir Saab Zindabad’. He raised the slogan in reaction to Barrister Sahab’s appreciation. My name is Mohammed Shakir. Then Barrister saab humurously said ,”Wait wait Shakir is still alive”. The worker raised the slogan again, to which Barrister Sahab said ‘Did Shakir Saab bring you here?’. This is the crux of the matter”.
That pro-Pakistan slogans were raised in a political or a religious rally is a common piece of misinformation used to target the opposition or non-BJP-ruled states. Last year, claims of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans being raised during the nomination procession of a Mukhiya candidate, Shakir Hussain, in Dokidih panchayat elections in Giridih went viral on social media. Following the viral claims, an FIR was lodged against Shakir Hussain and others under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 124A (sedition) and Section 153A (disturbing public peace). Jharkhand police arrested the chief candidate and three of his supporters. However, an Alt News investigation found that the slogan that was actually raised was ‘Shakir Hussain Zindabad’.
In this case too, it is evident that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were not raised during Asaduddin Owaisi’s rally in Dumri. While Owaisi was praising his fellow AIMIM worker and Jharkhand state president Mohammed Shakir, somebody from the audience shouted “Shakir Saab Zindabad”. A clip of this sloganeering went viral as pro-Pakistan slogans. An FIR has also been filed in this regard. Owaisi and Mohammed Shakir, who were both present at the rally, have denied this allegation.
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