Comedian Vir Das’s Wikipedia page edited to give Muslim middle name

Date: 22 november 2021

A screenshot of comedian Vir Das' Wikipedia page went viral across social media, which showed Das' middle name as 'Abdullah'. The photo was widely shared after Das uploaded a video titled 'I come from two Indias', which caused controversy.

However, in reality, Vir Das' Wikipedia page was edited to add the name 'Abdullah' at the beginning of the article. The archived version, as well as the corrected version of the page, do not reflect this name.




Fake news claim Muslim company manufactures offering given at Sabarimala Temple

Date: 24 november 2021

Twitter user Indu Makkal Katchi shared a photo of Aravana Payasam packaged in a jar that reads ‘Al Zahaa Sweets’. Aravana Payasam is the traditional offering given out to devotees at the Sabarimala Temple. It was being claimed that the offering was being manufactured by a Muslim company that has rebranded it with an Arabic name and termed it halal. 

Ratan Sharda, author of ‘RSS: Evolution from an Organization to a Movement’, also tweeted the image. Several Facebook users promoted the image and accompanying claim.

Rashid, Business Development Manager of Al Zahaa Sweets LLC, told The Quint that their popular product ‘Aravana Payasam’ has nothing to do with any religion, caste, or creed. Neither is it linked in any way to the deity Ayyappa or the Sabarimala Temple. He also clarified that the company does not have any tender or contract with any company or board in India or Kerala.




Fake news claims Mamata Banerjee made WB police clean mosque before namaz

Date: 23 november 2021

A photo was shared on social media with the message, “Have you ever seen the police cleaning a temple? No, right? In West Bengal, Mamata didi’s police officers are cleaning a mosque for namaz prayers.” The image was posted on numerous Facebook groups. 

A Facebook page called Swachh Telangana – Swachh Hyderabad had posted several images of police officers cleaning and sweeping. Telangana police had also shared a few such images on June 20, 2016, as police personnel cleaning a mosque and a temple and planting trees as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. One of the images was picked up and shared with a false claim.




Media outlets misreport Islamic flag as Pak flag hoisted atop Gorakhpur house

DAte: 23 november 2021

Zee Hindustan recently reported that a Pakistani flag hoisted on the rooftop of a house in the Chauri Chaura area of Gorakhpur sparked outrage in the locality. Journalist Tushar Srivastava of Zee Hindustan amplified the claim on Twitter. Punjab Kesari also ran the same story. Navbharat Times and Lokmat Hindi were the other Hindi outlets that carried the story.

A few users tweeted about the incident, claiming that a mob had surrounded a home in Gorakhpur’s Chauri Chaura area over suspicions of the Pakistan flag being hoisted there. A video is also being circulated with this claim, where a mob can be heard raising slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’. Pro-BJP propaganda outlets OpIndia also promoted the viral claim.

After a closer look at the flag in the video circulated by media outlets, Alt News discovered that the flag was not the Pakistani flag which has a white stripe on the left. This was clearly missing from the flag on the house. Apart from this, the crescent moons in both flags are pointing in opposite directions.

Furthermore, one of the images in circulation features a man showing the flags to the police. These are actually Islamic flags and not the Pakistani national flag.

Gorakhpur police posted a tweet stating that it had registered a complaint against four people and necessary action will be taken after an investigation.

 The media promoted the claim that the flag was the Pakistani national flag without prior verification. The police investigation found that the flag was not Pakistan’s and a closer look at the viral video also confirms the same.




'Spit-free' food: New hate campaign targets Kerala's Muslim-owned restaurants

DAte: 24 november 2021

Some groups on social media are circulating lists of Kerala’s restaurants owned by non-Muslims that serve 'spit-free' food, after a video showing a man blowing into food went viral. The lists are being shared on social media allegedly by some Christian groups.

A prominent social media group named 'Soldiers of Cross' also shared a list of hotels in various localities stating that they serve clean food. The lists are being widely circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms.

The Paragon group of restaurants in Kozhikode, who made it to the list of good restaurants, ended up filing a complaint with the cyber cell when the campaign resulted in getting them boycotted. They have denounced any involvement with the list.

"We didn’t realise what was happening at first using our name. We have been serving food to people from all castes and creeds for more than eight decades. We don’t know who’s behind it. We aren’t sure whether it has been instigated by religious intolerance or business rivalry and we have approached the police now,” said Paragon owner Sumesh Govind.

In the video which gave rise to the controversy, a man could be seen 'blowing' into the food. It was claimed to be a part of the ‘Fatiha Jalana’ ritual. The man in the video has been identified as Ullal Qazi Fazal Koyamma Thangal and the occasion was the ‘Uroos’ at the Tajul Ulama Dargah in Payyannur, Kerala.




Muslim man talking to Hindu friend attacked in Puttur

Date: 24 november 2021

An image of a student, injured and lying on what looked like a hospital bed, surfaced on social media on the afternoon of November 23. The image was of Mohammed Adil from Puttur in Karnataka, who was allegedly beaten up by students belonging to a right-wing group — for speaking to his female classmate, allegedly a Hindu girl. While several reports have claimed that the ABVP is behind this, the national student outfit has denied all involvement.

As per media reports, this is the third such incident at the Government Pre-University College in Kombettu. While the Puttur Town Police Station officials haven't yet released all the details, they confirmed to Edexlive that at least two more students from the same college have been attacked on November 24. They were rushed to a hospital in Mangaluru for further treatment. "Things are not very clear but there is an ongoing issue in the college," an official said. The official added that there would be a statement released on the issue soon.

Adil's family has been living in fear ever since the attack. His uncle, Mohammad Rafiq, said, "Muslim students are targetted here, it happened yesterday and it happened today again. There was a large mob that attacked students in our community today (Nov 24) with a trishul (trident). We are scared, how will our children go to college?" 

The second attack took place after students were suspended for assaulting Adil. It began with a protest by predominantly Hindu students and ended in a fight with a group of Muslim students who were right outside the college at the time. A member of the Campus Front of India (CFI), a Muslim student-led organisaton that has been tracking incidents of such violence closely — including the one in Puttur — Mohammed Thajjudim, confirmed that the most recent attack did involve the use of a trishul and that the second-year student is currently hospitalised.