A photo of a man disrespecting the Indian tricolour by placing it on the ground and standing on it is widely being circulated on the messaging app WhatsApp. The photo is accompanied by a caption in Kannada that reads, “If you are a child of India then take a second out to share this image”.

[Oringinal text in Kannada: ನೀವು ಭಾರತೀಯ ಮಕ್ಕಳಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಒಂದು ಸೆಕಂಡ್ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಶೇರ್ ಮಾಡಿ ಈ ಲುಚ್ಚಾ ನನ್ನ ಮಗ ಸಿಗೋ ತನಕ ಶೇರ್ ಮಾಡಿ…]

The photo is viral on Facebook with the same caption at least since 2018. Alt News has received requests on its official WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160) to verify the authenticity of the viral image.

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Photo from Pakistan

We performed a Google reverse image search on the photo and came across a tweet by one @ZaidZamanHamid from 2018. This account has been withheld in India due to a legal demand but the tweet can be viewed through an archived link available on the WayBackMachine.

The man standing on the tricolour is identified as Sarfraz Bugti, a Pakistani politician who has served as the Provincial Minister of Home & Tribal Affairs.

We noticed that people have replied to Hamid’s tweet with “#ChallengeAccepted” and “#IamSirajRaisani”.

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Siraj Raisani was a leader of the Balochistan Awami Party who along with 148 others died in the Mastung bomb blast in 2018. As per a report by The Indian Express, after Raisani died, images of him standing on the Indian national flag circulated on social media. The report also said that Pakistan blamed India for Baloch separatism and terrorism, and that the photographs turned Raisani into a hero.

We dug further and found that various Pakistani social media users recreated Raisani’s photo by standing on the Indian flag, turning it into an internet challenge. Some of these photos can be viewed on the hashtag #IamSirajRaisani. One of those photos is of politician Sarfraz Bugti who later deleted it. This is the photo that is now viral on Indian social media. Screenshots of Bugti’s tweets are still available on Facebook and Twitter.

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In conclusion, a photo of a Pakistani politician disrespecting the Indian tricolour was shared on WhatsApp in India.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc