A video showing a group of Muslim men loudly praying has gone viral across social media. The video has gone viral in the context of the recent loudspeaker ban in Uttar Pradesh.
The Uttar Pradesh Home Department has stated that illegal loudspeakers would be removed from religious places across the state. The state department asserted that loudspeakers flouting the noise limit standards would be removed.
Previously this month, Nashik Police banned loudspeakers from playing Hanuman Chalisa or bhajans 15 minutes before and after Azaan is offered. The police have also prohibited the use of loudspeakers without permission at religious places.
The 1.47 minutes video shows a group of men standing in a row and reciting Muslim prayers loudly. The video of the men standing is shot from different angles.
Sudarshan News shared this video and wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "तुम लाउडस्पीकर बंद कराओगे तो ये रास्ता निकालेंगे? अर्थात कानून नहीं मानेंगे?"
[English Translation: If you turn off the loudspeaker, we will find this way out? Does that mean you will not obey the law?]
Abhay Pratap Singh, Journalist at Sudarshan News shared this video and wrote, "लाउडस्पीकर पर अजान का विकल्प खोज लिया गया है? ये वीडियो इस मानसिकता को स्पष्ट कर रहा है कि हिम्मत है तो रोक लो...लेकिन अगर इस सोच को नहीं रोका गया तो विषय सिर्फ अजान तक सीमित नहीं रहेगा, ये समझना जरूरी है."
[English Translation: Has the azaan option been found on the loudspeaker? This video is making clear the mentality that if you have the courage, then stop...But if this thinking is not stopped, then the matter will not be limited to Azaan alone; it is important to understand this.]
Another user wrote, "ये लो एक नया ड्रामा | कुल मिलाकर अराजकता फैलानी है , चाहे जैसे फैले| लाउडस्पीकर पे नहीं तो अब मुँह से कुकुरनुमा चिल्लायेंगे."
[English Translation: Here's a new drama. Overall anarchy has to be spread, no matter how it spreads.]
Many people shared this video claiming that the viral video is from Mumbai after the loudspeaker controversy. A Facebook user wrote, "मुंबई में लाउड स्पीकर बंद करने के नतीजे देखलो."
[English Translation: See the consequences of switching off loudspeakers in Mumbai.]
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The viral video is from 2020.
We used InVid's Keyframe Analysis tool to isolate the keyframes of the viral video. We then conducted a reverse image search on the isolated keyframe and came across this video from April 2020. It indicates that the viral video has circulated across social media for at least two years.
Taking cues from the viral video, we conducted a keyword search with the caption मस्जिद बंद तो सड़क पे शुरू आखिर कैसे समझाएं इन को…(Translated: Masjid is closed so they are proclaiming azaan on the road.) We came across a similar video uploaded on April 17, 2020, by Facebook user Roshan Singh.
The video gave us much more precise images of the background of the video. We spotted a store banner that said Dr N. Rai Homepathy. The store's banner to the side of the homoeopathy clinic carried the text 'Howrah' and a set of numbers which appeared to be the Pin Code 711 001. We also noticed a store with a 'Yashika Stores' banner in the video. On searching it on Google Maps, we found this store location as GT Road, Howrah. We also noticed another structure in the video that had a particular logo that resembled Canara Bank's logo.
After going further through the video, we came across this store's banner, which reads 'Shimla Biryani.' Taking the Dr N. Rai Homeopathy banner information, we narrowed this place down to Shimla Biryani, located on G.T Road in North Howrah.
These pictures of the eatery match up with the snapshot of the eatery in the viral video.
Accordingly, we conducted a keyword search and came across this map, which illustrates the location of Yashika Stores.
The shop is located a short distance from Dr N Rai Homeopath Clinic and Canara Bank. This visual evidence leads us to state that the video is from Howrah in West Bengal and not Mumbai, Maharashtra.
We found several reports which mention that people during covid lowdown offered prayers and azaan to get rid of the corona.
The captions on the viral video claimed that the incident occurred after the recent ban on loudspeakers that proclaim Azaan. Some captions state that the incident occurred following the statements against azaan on loudspeakers by Maharashtra Navanirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray.
However, as the visual evidence suggests, the video was shot in the locality of GT Road, Howrah, West Bengal. The video dates back to 2020 and is not from the recent incidents of the ban of azaan from loudspeakers.
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