A video of a procession of people on foot and on tractor trolleys is viral on social media. In the clip, a group of children are seen dancing to a religious song on an open carriage. Some other children are sitting on another tractor as several of them go by. Some people are on foot. During this, a man can be seen forcing a boy holding a saffron flag to halt, while another man snatches it from his hand. This sparks an argument among the people in the procession. It has been claimed that the footage is from a religious procession by Hindus which was passing from Haryana’s Panipat to Sanauli during which a Muslim man suddenly attacked a Hindu carrying a Hanuman flag and threw it on the ground.

X (formerly Twitter) User Gopal Goswami, who regularly shares communal misinformation on social media, tweeted the clip and wrote, “A peaceful yatra was being carried out in Sanauli, Panipat, Haryana, when suddenly a Jihadi attacked a young man carrying a Lord Hanuman flag and threw it on the ground.” He later deleted the tweet. (Archived link)

Another user named Preeti Yadav made a similar claim while sharing this video on X. (Archived link)

A number of users including Satish Anna, Harsh Vyas, Praveen Shastri amplified the footage with the same claim.

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Fact Check

Taking a closer look at the video, we noticed that the first person who stopped the boy carrying the flag was wearing a committee badge. Many others in the video are seen wearing the same badge on their chest. In ‘Shobha Yatras’ or religious processions organised by temple committees, members of the committee or organizers generally wear such badges.

It can be seen in the footage that religious flags are affixed on the tractors as well, but these were not removed.

Alt News performed a search on Google for more information on this, which led us to an article by Amar Ujala from September 10. It states that youth from the Sanauli Khurd village of Panipat, Haryana took out a religious procession on the occasion of ‘Janmashtami’. While the procession was passing through an area consisting of a Muslim community, some members of the Bajrang Dal reached the spot with religious flags and began raising religious slogans. In anticipation of a possible conflict breaking out, village sarpanch Sanjay Tyagi intervened and took the flag from the hands of two young men from the Bajrang Dal.

According to the report, a meeting was held on Sunday in a temple on the flag dispute between the Bajrang Dal and the Sarpanch. During this the Bajrang Dal members accused the Sarpanch of snatching the religious flag and asked him to apologize. However, the Sarpanch refused to do so and said that he did not snatch the flag but simply took it from the hands of the youth. Following this, both parties did manage to reach an agreement. In other words, the person accused of snatching the religious flag is not a Muslim, but Sanjay Tyagi, the sarpanch of Sanauli Khurd village.

According to another Amar Ujala article dated September 12, village sarpanch Tyagi and people from other parties filed a complaint with the police in this matter. According to the report, investigating officer ASI Pradeep stated that the appropriate action would be taken after interrogating both the parties.

Alt News also reached out directly to Sarpanch Tyagi. He confirmed that he was present at this procession. It was organised by the temple committee and this yatra was passing peacefully through the village. When the procession was passing in front of a mosque, a group of young men from the Bajrang Dal arrived and began sloganeering while waving religious flags in their hands. To avoid an escalation of tension, the sarpanch reprimanded the youth and took the flag from his hand. He added that if he had not done so, there was a possibility of a chaos breaking out, as happened in Nuh last month. Anticipating a dispute, he took the flag from the boy’s hand. However, he did not throw the flag on the ground. He clarified that the person in a cream-colour kurta who took the religious flag from the hand of the young man was he himself, and not any Muslim person. He identified the man in the yellow shirt who stopped the young man with the flag in his hand as Saba Numberdar, a member of the same temple committee.

To sum it up, several social media users shared a video of village sarpanch Sanjay Tyagi taking a saffron flag from a Bajrang Dal member to avoid a possible religious conflict in the Sanauli village of Panipat, Haryana, with the false claim that a Muslim man attacked a Hindu youth carrying a religious flag and threw it on the ground.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).