An image is doing the rounds on social media with the claims that Kerala's Kasargod MLA NA Nellikkunnu’s car carried a flag of Pakistan on its bonnet.
However, The Quint’s WebQoof team found that this is an old viral image from 2016 which is circulated on the internet again. Moreover, the flag is of the Kerala-based political party, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), and not of Pakistan.
A tweet shared by Hindu Seva Kendra founder Pratheesh Viswanath read: “This car is not from Pakistan... Its from Kerala... Kasargod Muslim League MLA Nellikkunnu Abdul Khader Ahmed Kunji's car. (sic)”
Another user tweeted: “Arrest Kasargod MLA first…Then throw his MLA Post without Any delay. We Are Citizens of INDIA, Not Pakistan. (sic)”
WHAT WE FOUND
Upon a reverse image search on the picture, we found a tweet with the same claim in 2016. When we used relevant keywords on Twitter, we found that several users back then had claimed that the car carried the flag of Pakistan and it went viral.
Upon a closer look at the flag, we found that the flag is not of Pakistan but of IUML. The IUML (which is commonly referred to as the ‘League’ in Kerala) is recognised by the Election Commission as a state party in Kerala and the organisation is an ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
While Pakistan’s flag has a white border and the crescent moon and the star are facing right, in the IUML flag, the crescent moon and star are facing left and the entire flag is green in colour.
The claim also says that the car belongs to Kerala's Kasargod MLA Abdul Khader Mohammed Kunhi, known as NA Nellikkunnu, who is a member of the IUML. We also looked up information on his vehicles on myneta.info and found that he owns four cars, but not a Mercedes-Benz.
We spoke to IUML leader and former Malappuram MP PK Kunhalikutty and he said, “I had come to know about the false claim in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The flag that you can see in the photo is our party flag. The only similarity between Pakistan and IUML’s flag is the colour.”
Speaking about the car, he said that the car doesn’t belong to NA Nellikkunnu, but former IUML leader and Manjeshwaram constituency MLA Abdul Razak, who passed away in 2018.
The IUML's flag has often been shared with misleading claims that it is that of Pakistan, more so during the election season. We had earlier debunked the disinformation about Pakistan's flag raised during Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s pre-nomination roadshow in Kerala’s Wayanad.
The IUML had on 5 April 2019 complained to the Election Commission about certain mischievous elements spreading "malicious lies" regarding the party and its flag.
Clearly, an old image is being circulated again on the internet with a false claim.
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