BJP leader Hariom Pandey recently shared an image claiming it was taken at a literature festival in Maharashtra. He claimed that literary festivals are now being commenced with a reading of Quranic verses, as compared to earlier when the Saraswati Vandana used to be recited. The image features NCP MP Supriya Sule and Maharashtra cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad.

West Bengal’s Shankaracharya Gurukul president Arpita Chatterjee shared the image with the same claim. Her tweet was liked by over 4,500 users as of this writing. (Archive link)

Several others also posted the image with the accompanying claim. Among them was Mahesh Chauhan of the RSS, and users like @humlogindia, @janardanspeaks, and @archiepie11.

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Fact-check

We performed a reverse image search, keeping in mind that Supriya Sule and Jitendra Awhad could be seen as attendees in the viral photo. This led us to a video story posted on a verified YouTube channel named Aapka Prahar Times. At the 3:20 mark, it is mentioned that Supriya Sule attended fellow NCP leader and Kalwa Mumbra Assembly Speaker Shamim Khan’s son’s Nikah ceremony. According to the report, Sule had shared a Facebook Live taken at the event. This is where the viral image was taken from.

 

On December 4, Supriya Sule also posted a Facebook Live recorded during the Nikah ceremony.

 

Posted by Supriya Sule on Saturday, December 4, 2021

In sum, photos taken during the Nikah ceremony of an NCP leader’s son were falsely circulated by BJP leaders and other users to claim Quranic verses were being read in Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.