An image of a padlocked grave is doing rounds on social media. In the viral image, a grave can be seen covered with a green colour grille (jaali) with a padlock on it. While sharing this image, it is being claimed that due to rising cases of necrophilia in Pakistan, parents put locks on their daughters' graves in order to protect their bodies from rape.
Several news outlets shared a photo with the claim that a grave is padlocked to combat necrophilia cases in Pakistan.
News agency ANI used this image in their article titled 'Pakistani parents lock daughters’ graves to avoid rape'. They cited a Daily Times reporter, Harris Sultan, an ex-Muslim activist, and others to corroborate the claim. ANI also tweeted the report using the same image.
Later, several Indian media outlets like The Times of India, NDTV, Times Now, The Print, etc. also published ANI’s report from their syndicated feed. That means these media outlets cited the same Daily Times article as ANI.
Many other media outlets like Zee News, Wion, OpIndia Hindi, News24, News18, Firstpost, ABP News, Amar Ujala, etc. also reported it using the same image.
Harris Sultan, the author of the book ‘The Curse of God – Why I Left Islam’, also tweeted the image, which several media outlets like Zee News, NDTV, Times Of India, ANI, etc used. While sharing this image, he wrote, "Pakistan has created such a horny, sexually frustrated society that people are now putting padlocks on the graves of their daughters to prevent them from getting raped. When you link the burqa with rape, it follows you to the grave." He now deleted his tweet. Below you can see the screenshot of his tweet.
Due to rising cases of necrophilia in Pakistan, parents put locks on their daughters' graves in order to protect their bodies from rape.
The Logical Indian Fact-Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The viral image is from Hyderabad and not related to necrophilia.
We first conducted a keyword search across social media with terms 'locked grave' and came across a tweet by user Surya Reddy posted on May 1, 2023. The tweet reads, "The LockedGrave is located in Madannapet of Hyderabad, India and not in Pakistan. The family of an elderly woman locked the grave with the iron grill to protect the place. It's viral with False claim that Pakistani parents are locking graves of their daughters to avoid rape."
We came across another tweet by Twitter user @Delhiite posted on 30 April, 2023. The tweet reads, "This Grave is in India not from Pakistan. It is in DarabJung Colony, Madannapet, Hyderabad, Telangana And a lock has been put on this grave so that no one should bury someone else in this grave."
Taking this into account, we conducted a search for the location across Google Street View. We found that the cemetery is located opposite Masjid E Salar Mulk, a mosque in Darab Jung Colony, Madannapet, Hyderabad. The padlocked grave is clearly visible in this image.
On searching more, we found another person who posted a video of himself visiting the tomb and mentioned that the viral image was taken by him and that the burial belonged to his friend's old mother. He also highlighted that the graveyard is in Hyderabad and denies the charges of necrophilia.
We then came across a Twitter thread on the incident by fact checker Mohammad Zubair. On 30 April, 2023, he shared the relevant images showing the padlocked grave writing, "Alt News contacted a social worker named Abdul Jaleel who is a resident of Hyderabad. On being requested by us, he visited the spot and provided us with photographs of the grave in question."
In another tweet he wrote, "Jaleel spoke to Muqtar Sahab, the Muazzin of the Masjid. Mr. Muqtar said that the padlocked grave, which was approximately 1.5 to 2-year old which is located right in front of the entrance thus blocking the pathway."
In the video, Muqtar Sahib can be heard saying, “A lot of people come and bury bodies over the old graves without taking permission. The people who have their close ones buried here. To prevent others from burying any bodies further, the families have put the grille there.”
Muqtar Sahab refuted the viral claims and added that the grille was built to prevent people from stamping on the grave as it was right in front of the entrance. Additionally, Muqtar Sahab corroborated the address of the cemetery as Madannapet, Darab Jung colony.
Zubair also stated the following in another tweet. "Alt News also spoke to a local resident whose house is near the mosque. He informed us that the grave belonged to an aged woman who had passed away in her seventies. Her son constructed the grille over the grave about 40 days after she had been buried."
Harris Sultan, whose tweet was quoted by ANI and other media outlets, apologized in a tweet posted on 30 April 2023. "While this is not an excuse and I must apologize for the source of my initial information, which was from @SanamBalochfans"
He attempted to clarify, "This was not an imagined claim. My original tweet did not even attack Islam. My tweet was highlighting the nature of society that Pakistan's segregationist policies have created."
We found that the viral image showing the grave is located in a cemetery in Hyderabad’s Madannapet. We found that the image of the padlocked grave has nothing to do with necrophilia or Pakistan.
Alt News did this story first. Click here to read the report.
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