New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday shared pictures of battered houses and bulldozers on social media, claiming they were from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and Farrukhabad districts and not from war-torn Ukraine. He also said the photos were from UP’s “Buldozerland”.
Not Ukraine, these are photos of Unnao and Farrukhabad of Buldozerland pic.twitter.com/K3K66G36Jr
— Salman Khurshid (@salman7khurshid) June 7, 2022
His Twitter post has been liked by around 15,000 users, including former All India Congress Committee secretary Vibhakar Shastri and Rajasthan MLA Ramniwas Gawriya. It was also retweeted at least 4,000 times.
Muslim ke hi hoge ?
— देसी छोरा (@idanish95) June 7, 2022
The image was interpreted by some users as a picture of bulldozed houses belonging to Muslim residents in the two Uttar Pradesh districts, terming them similar to scenes in the aftermath of the Jahangirpuri violence in Delhi.
Many had lost their properties in an anti-encroachment drive carried out by the government following communal clashes in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area in April.
The users were quick to make the connection, with many expressing sympathy for those who they believed lost their houses in an alleged demolition drive under the Yogi Adityanath government. One user, Arun Aggarwal, blamed the BJP government, and said it has been unsuccessful in giving people a “good job” and a “good future”. A handle named ‘Muslims for America’ also called it genocide against Muslims.
Yogi government ruining Unnao and Farrukhabad through bulldozers.
BJP cannot give good job and good future to the people, now their house is also being snatched from them.
— Arun Aggarwal (@arunagg007) June 8, 2022
The world is shamelessly watching as he fascist regime of banana republic India continues to bulldoze Muslim homes !!https://t.co/n2ZVMp5TZK
— yaseen (@nomadbrit) June 7, 2022
Some others also said the houses were built “illegally” and needed to be razed. Many declared it a good initiative since it was the “duty” of the government to remove illegal construction.
Unauthorised structures has to be demolished. That’s duty of government.
— 🇮🇳BreakingNewsChankya (@BreakingClutter) June 7, 2022
चच्चा दंगा करने में इतना ही मजा आता है क्या।
हिंसा भड़काके देश का माहौल खराब करने वालो के बारे में कुछ नही बोलते चच्चा।
नही बोलेंगे नही तो विपक्ष किस लिये है चच्चा।
— Rajesh Ayar (@RajeshAyar19) June 7, 2022
Contrary to what Khurshid suspected, one of the photos is from a demolition drive in 2016 when former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was in power. According to an article in the Hindi daily Amar Ujala, at least 50 houses belonging to traders in Unnao were demolished because they were “illegal” dwellings. Two other images from the alleged demolition drive didn’t have any official source.
There was another article by Amar Ujala in 2016 about a building collapse that took place at a market in Unnao. The news featured the fourth photograph in Khurshid’s tweet.
Some Twitter users were also able to identify the real source of the photos and pointed them out in replies to Khurshid’s post. Terming it as “fake news”, they also tagged the concerned authorities and asked them to take proper action.
A senior advocate, Supreme Court of India, is busy peddling fake news!! @Uppolice please do the needful!
— SHAILEE MALIWAL 🇮🇳 (@ShaileeMaliwal) June 8, 2022
(In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer)