On January 29, former Congress MP Shakeel Ahmad posted a video of two women dressed in a burqa caught by the police with the claim that these women were masquerading as Muslim women in the Lucknow’s Clock Tower protests. According to his claim, they were chanting slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The names of the women as mentioned in the claim are Mansi and Pooja.
एक का नाम पूजा है और दूसरी का मानसी, और आरोप है कि यह दोनो नक़ाब (बुर्क़ा)पहन कर लखनऊ मे घंटा घर के पास CAA, NRC और NPR के विरुद्ध धरने पर बैठी महिलाओं की भीड़ मे पाकिस्तान ज़िंदाबाद के नारे लगा रही थीं।बहुसंख्यकों को मूर्ख बनाने के लिए मुसलमानो को बदनाम करना ठीक नहीं है। pic.twitter.com/AducMdSInn
— Shakeel Ahmad (@Ahmad_Shakeel) January 29, 2020
Anil Tiwari, the founder of Lucknow-based news portal, quote-tweeted the video and claimed, “घंटाघर में मालती और पूजा पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद के नारे लगा रही थी। बाकियो ने पकड़ कर पुलिस को सौंपा। (In Clock Tower, Malti and Pooja were raising slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. They were caught and handed over to the police by the rest of them -translated)”.
घंटाघर में मालती और पूजा पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद के नारे लगा रही थी। बाकियो ने पकड़ कर पुलिस को सौंपा। https://t.co/pIGETPKxXy
— Anil Tiwari (@Interceptors) January 29, 2020
Old and unrelated video
With a keyword search on Google, Alt News found that the same video was posted on Twitter on November 22, 2017. The caption given along with the video identifies the women as Mansi Gupta and Pooja Gupta.
गोंडा कटरा बाजार मतदान स्थल भारतीय इंटर कॉलेज में दो लड़कियां गुप्ता परिवार से बुर्का पहन कर आई थी वोट डालने प्रशासन की पैनी नजर से बच नहीं पाई वोट डालने से पहले पकड़ी गई,@arshiazizkhan @SirRavishKumar @juhiesingh @digvijaysinghd9 @pankhuripathak pic.twitter.com/jlm6PQEu8B
— Salman Siddiqui (@Salman98070) November 22, 2017
We also found an archived version of an article published by a website named India Samvad on November 23, 2017. According to the article, the women – Mansi Gupta and Pooja Gupta- were masquerading as Muslims at a polling station. The incident reportedly took place at the Bharatiya Intercollege in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda city. The police caught them and found that the photo in their voter ID cards didn’t match with their facial appearance, stated the article. A tweet by Gonda police’s official handle confirmed that local body elections were held on November 22, 2017. The incident was also reported by Prabhat Khabar on November 23, 2017.
In conclusion, a two-year-old video of two women masquerading as Muslims in UP’s Gonda city is being shared with the false narrative that Hindu women infiltrated Lucknow’s anti-CAA protest at Clock Tower and chanted slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ to cause trouble.