Did Cheering Crowd in Pakistan’s Balochistan Wave BJP Flags? Here’s a Fact Check

AFP

New Delhi: A post shared thousands of times on Facebook contains a video which it claims shows the flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being waved in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. But the claim is false; the video actually shows a BJP politician in Kashmir going to register as an election candidate.

The misleading video and claim have been posted repeatedly on social media, where it has been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook since it was uploaded May 2, 2019.

The one-minute 55-second video claims to show men and women in Pakistan’s western Balochistan province dancing, singing folk songs and waving the BJP flag.

The Hindi-language caption translates as: “The Bharatiya Janata Party flag was waved in Pakistan’s Balochistan. If the Modi government comes back, Balochistan will be independent. With Modi at the helm, it is possible.”

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:

BJP

Screenshot of the misleading post

The exact same footage as is used in the misleading posts was originally posted online by Sofi Yousuf, a BJP member of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative council, and a candidate in the Anantnag constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, according to his Facebook page.

Yousuf uploaded the original video to his verified Twitter account on March 30, 2019 with the caption: “While going to file nomination papers”.

While going to file nomination papers.#PhirEkBaarModiSarkar #LokSabhaElection2019 #NamoNamo @narendramodi @AmitShah @rammadhavbjp @Ramlal @ImAvinashKhanna @AshokKoul59 @RavinderBJPJK @BJP4JnK @BJP4India pic.twitter.com/l1cUMiUzIZ

— Chowkidar sofi yousuf (@sofi_yousuf) March 30, 2019


A Google reverse image search found that the exact same footage was also posted on Facebook by an online portal on March 30, 2019.

The caption on the Fast Kashmir post says: “Video, BJP Candidate Sofi Yousuf files nomination form for Parliamentary polls in South Kashmir’s Anantnag.”

The video in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the original video put up by Yousuf on Twitter (R) are placed side by side below for comparison. Note in both there is a man in a mask in the foreground and a BJP flag behind:

yousufcomp1