Ahmednagar police deny Muslims shouted pro-Pak slogans at Ram Navami celebration

A video of Newasa in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra is currently being shared on social media with the claim that Muslim youths threw stones at a Ram Navami rally and chanted slogans “Pakistan Zindabad “. The voiceover in the video alleges that Hindus assaulted “jihadists” for shouting pro-Pakistani slogans.

A parody Twitter handle who goes by the name “Maha Vinash Aghadi”, which literally means “Maharashtra destruction alliance”, was among those who shared the video.

An identical video with the same allegations made by the community was also tweeted by Twitter users Treeni, Sharansh Guha and Gopi.

The video is also being shared on different social media platforms including Facebook. A right-wing propaganda page “पंच तत्व” also posted the video with similar claims.

Fact check

Note that the claim – “pro-Pakistan slogans were thrown by Muslims” – is made by the narrator and the audio of the Ram Navami rally was not played. It is the first 29 seconds where we can also spot the “हिंदुत्व वार्ता” logo in the upper right corner. To lend authenticity to the claim, “breaking news” slugs run throughout the video.

The remaining 51 seconds of the video were extracted from a video report from the Youtube channel “The Column – Crime”.

Alt News has contacted Ahmednagar (SP) Police Superintendent Manoj Patil. He said: “A large crowd had gathered during the rally. Some of our police officers were also present at the scene. It is true that friction was sparked after some young people from the Muslim community waved a green colored flag when the Ram Navami rally passed from the public transport stand to the Kholeshwar Ganpati temple. But our investigation revealed that no such slogan from Pakistan Zindabad was raised.

The officer said that despite hundreds of youths recording videos of the rally, police found no video of pro-Pakistani slogans chanted during the incident which happened on the evening of April 9 outside the Kismat Tea Center.

Based on the complaint filed by Chief of Police Tulsiram Gite on April 10, Newasa Police arrested eight suspects from the Muslim community. They were charged with rioting, unlawful assembly and using criminal force to deter an official from performing his duties. Police also booked young Hindus for holding a rally without permission.

Gite, who was also an eyewitness to the incident, told Alt News that neither “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were shouted or rocks were thrown. He said: “After learning that the Ram Navami Rally had been held without permission, we arrived at the scene and accompanied the crowd. A group of young Muslims were standing near the Kismat Tea Center and one of them was waving a green flag. I asked him not to and he argued with me. But soon, with his accomplices, he left. This argument caught the attention of young Hindus present at the rally. They suspected that a 15-year-old boy, Altaf Bagwan, was an accomplice to the suspects and began assaulting him. But Altaf has nothing to do with the Muslim youth who raised the green flag.

Kishor Pathade, an Ahmednagar resident who was an eyewitness to the incident, further said, “Together with HC Gite, Akshay Tekade, Altaf Pathan and Jaideep Jamdar, I saved the miner from the assault. We also suffered minor scratches.

Thus, a video of a Ram Navami rally taken on the evening of April 9 in Newasa, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, is viral on social networks. It was shared with the false claim that young Muslims chanted “Pakistan Zindabad” as the rally passed. There is no video evidence of the same and furthermore, police have denied that pro-Pakistani chants were started during an altercation between two communities.

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