New Delhi: A photo of Srinagar’s Lal Chowk with a Tricolour unfurled on the Clock Tower was shared on social media Saturday morning, with people claiming that this is the “new Jammu and Kashmir”.
The flag and message is a reference to the scrapping of Article 370 that led to Jammu and Kashmir losing its special status and eventually being turned in to two Union Territories.
The photo was widely circulated, including BJP leader Kapil Mishra and the party’s state president from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.
Tiranga at Lal Chowk 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/jwlhFs5pZK
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) August 14, 2020
In his post, Namgyal states that the “symbol of anti-India campaign” is now a “crown of nationalism”.
“What has changed since 5 Aug 2019? Lal Chowk Srinagar which had remained as symbol of Ant-iIndia campaign by dynast politicians and Jihadist forces, has now become Crown of Nationalism.”
What has changed since #5Aug2019?
— Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (@JTNBJP) August 14, 2020
The photo tweeted by Mishra has been retweeted over 7,000 times and liked by more than 37,000 accounts. Namgyal’s post also garnered quite a bit of attention — over 1,600 retweets and more than 8,000 likes.
Many others also shared the picture, claiming this was the “new Jammu and Kashmir”.
On closer examination, the photograph appears photoshopped. The flag seems to have been digitally added to an older image of Lal Chowk in Srinagar. This is evident when one looks at the latest pictures of Lal Chowk.
All the latest pictures of Lal Chowk show renovated buildings painted white in the background instead of the brick buildings present in the photograph being circulated. The latest pictures also show no presence of the Indian flag on the Clock Tower.
A comparison of both photos also throws up another significant difference — heavy security presence and shops shut in one while the viral image shows people walking around and shops open. Shops have largely remained shut because of restrictions, earlier due to the security lockdown and later due to Covid-19.
Given these striking differences, it is safe to derive that the picture being circulated on social media is fake.
(In association with SM Hoaxslayer)