On June 26, journalist Meer Faisal tweeted a video of several students raising ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans as a reaction to their Muslim peers offering Namaz at the Allen Institute in Kota. According to Faisal’s tweet, the video was initially posted on the Instagram page, @allen_sae_hu.
Muslim students were offering Friday prayer in an area designated for them at Allen Institute, and after seeing this, Hindu students started opposing them by chanting “Jai Shri Ram.” This video was posted on Instagram two days ago by @Allen_Sae_Hu. #Islamophobia pic.twitter.com/00aOBLD4we
— Meer Faisal (@meerfaisal01) June 26, 2023
Advocate Ashutosh J Dubey, who identifies himself on Twitter as ‘legal co-convener Of Palghar BJP assembly, tweeted another video from the same incident. He wrote, “JUST IN: Coaching Centre After performing the namaz, Hindu children began shouting “Jai Shri Ram” in unison. This video of Allen Coaching Institute in Kota is being reported”. (Archive)
JUST IN: Coaching Centre After performing the namaz, Hindu children began shouting “Jai Shri Ram” in unison.
This video of Allen Coaching Institute in Kota is being reported. pic.twitter.com/HTC02eGmHs
— ADV. ASHUTOSH J. DUBEY 🇮🇳 (@AdvAshutoshBJP) June 26, 2023
However, a few hours after Meer Faisal’s tweet was shared, the official handle of Kota City Police refuted Faisal’s claim in a reply and wrote, “This video is from 2020. No such incident has happened recently. Effective action was taken by the concerned organization at the time. The police are constantly monitoring such developments. The law and order situation is normal”. (Archive)
यह वीडियो 2020 का है अभी ऐसी कोई गतिविधि नहीं हुई है, तत् समय इस पर संबंधित संस्था द्वारा प्रभावी कार्यवाही अम्ल में लाई गई थी,पुलिस ऐसे घटनाक्रमों पर लगातार नजर रखती है। कानून व्यवस्था की स्थिति सामान्य है।
— KotaCity Police (@KotaPolice) June 26, 2023
After Kota Police’s clarification, Right Wing propaganda website OpIndia published a ‘fact-check’ report titled, “Propagandist and serial fake news spreader, Meer Faisal, shares a three-year-old video of Allen coaching institute to spread communal hate against Hindus”. In their report, they cited the Kota Police tweet to ‘debunk’ Meer Faisal’s claim. (Archive)
Propagandist and serial fake news spreader, Meer Faisal, shares a three-year-old video of Allen coaching institute to spread communal hate against Hindushttps://t.co/YrDDzdnljY
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) June 27, 2023
Several users took to Twitter to ‘debunk’ the viral video and called it an old incident, citing the Kota Police tweet. In the process, they also targeted individuals like Meer Faisal who had initially shared the video. (Archives- 1, 2, 3, 4)
Is the video from 2020?
Upon a keyword search, we found a number of recent articles reporting this incident. Several of these articles contain a statement from the senior vice-president of the Allen Institute, C R Chaudhary, admitting that the incident indeed happened. For instance, when media outlet Amar Ujala reached out to him for a comment for a June 26 report, Chaudhary told them that the incident did took place at the centre after the floor attendant had left. However, he insisted that the matter should not be taken seriously since the institute was a place for teaching and learning. (Archive)
Chaudhury gave a similar statement to Zee News for a report published on June 27 wherein he admitted that some students did act in this manner.
Chaudhary also made a video statement on the issue.
Sr vice president Allen CR Choudhary today reply on matter pic.twitter.com/YjUpGgPpO7
— Neeraj Sharma (@journalistneer) June 26, 2023
We reached out to multiple students at the Allen Supath building in Naya Nohra, all of whom confirmed that the incident happened on June 23, 2023. A student from the institute recounted the incident in detail: “The video is not from 2020. This happened on the 23rd. Around June 10-12, approximately 25 of us had taken permission for Namaaz from principal sir, the floor in-charge and the ground staff. Initially, we were supposed to pray on the fifth floor. But when more students wanted to join, principal sir suggested that we pray on our respective floors. Some people raised Jai Sri Ram slogans when we started to pray on our floors, but we ignored them. June 23 was Jumma, so during the Asar prayers, many students came and loudly chanted Jai Sri Ram slogans on the fourth floor of Block A. However, no serious altercation followed that incident. We left peacefully and attended our classes”.
We could further confirm the location by comparing screengrabs from one of the viral videos with images from Google. We could also independently confirm that some of the students seen in the viral videos were currently studying at the institute. We will not reveal their identities owing to the fact that they are minors.
We sourced a longer version of one of the viral videos.
We also noted that in the aforementioned video, a portion of a poster can be seen, with ‘AIR 1 Tanishka’ written on it.
Upon probing further, we found that a student named Tanishka topped the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG) in 2022 and was a student of Allen.
🏆Once again ALLENite Creates history by Securing AIR-1
Creating history is our tradition and ALLENites know how to mark it
— ALLEN Career Institute (@ALLENkota) September 7, 2022
A student of the institute sent us a clear image of the poster put up at the location of the incident. The year 2022 is also mentioned in the top left corner of the poster.
Below is a comparison of a screengrab where the poster is visible and the said picture.
Needless to say, a poster with the image of a NEET (UG) 2022 topper is impossible to be found in a video from 2020.
Hence, the video of students at the Allen Institute in Kota raising ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans is from June 23, 2023 and not 2020, as claimed by Kota Police in a tweet. News reports and independent sources from the institute in Rajasthan’s Kota confirm that the incident took place recently.
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