Against the backdrop of the Congress victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections, a video has gone viral on social media platforms showing a young boy offering prayers (namaz) in the middle of a road halting vehicular traffic. A policeman can also be seen in the video diverting cars allowing the boy to offer his prayers.
Social media users shared the video with a caption in Hindi that said, ”Enjoy the street view of Karnataka this morning, must watch *Secular Hindu. See the effect of the vote you have given. *Because of one Muslim child, the entire traffic route changes, these people run the constitution in their own way, just let it be 40% after some time, then see what they do”.
A Twitter user named @Bhushanlalb shared the video with a similar claim.
*आज सुबह के कर्नाटक के सड़क के दृश्य का आनंद लेवे, *सेक्युलर हिन्दू जरूर देखें । जो वोट दिया है उसका असर देखे ।* एक मुस्लिम बच्चे के कारण पूरी ट्रैफिक का रूट बदल जाता है , यह लोग संविधान को भी अपने तरीके से चलाते है बस कुछ समय बाद 40 % होने दो , फिर देखो क्या क्या करते है * pic.twitter.com/bj1zYdfqvB
— भूषण लाल भट्ट Displaced Kashmiri Hindu. (@Bhushanlalb) May 19, 2023
Twitter users @neetaa31 and @prabhato777, too, shared the video with the same caption. Both of them later deleted the tweet.
The video has gone viral and has been shared multiple times on Twitter and Facebook. Screenshots of some of the posts can be seen in the gallery below:
By breaking down the video into key-frames using the InVid software, and reverse-searching the frames on Google, Alt News found that a user names @ajom75uddin had uploaded the video on Tik Tok on January 10, 2023. The Karnataka elections were held in May 2023.
By looking closely at one of the frames in the video, we could see the registration plate of a car. The format of the plate matches that of a standard registration plate of Dubai. A side-by-side comparison can be seen below. The format of the car plate indicates that the video is not from India.
Another noticeable element in one of the key-frames was a person who looked like a food-delivery agent wearing an orange jacket or t-shirt. A bike can also be seen parked on the roadside. The box attached to the bike is orange in colour as well. We then conducted a reverse-image search with the frame and found a Facebook post by food delivery company Talabat.
On the company’s website, we found that they were functional in central Asian cities.
The side-by-side comparison below confirms that the food-delivery agent in the viral video is from Talabat. Hence the video is from central Asia or the Middle East.
We also noticed that the same video was widely shared in March 2023 and there was a controversy around it since the boy was offering prayers in the middle of the street obstructing traffic causing inconvenience to others. Algerian news presenter Ania El Afandi shared this video in the middle of this row with a caption that said ”A child prays on the road and obstructs traffic…. no comment!”.
طفل يصلى في الطريق ويعطل السير ….لا تعليق ! pic.twitter.com/zxrfnIbV8e
— Ania El Afandi آنيا (@Ania27El) March 6, 2023
Several news agencies also reported the actual story behind the incident. Tawasul newspaper reported that the child was getting late for the Friday prayers and hence sat in the middle of the road to offer his prayers.
So, it is clear that the video of a young boy praying in the middle of a street is not from Karnataka and is not related in any way to the elections in the state.
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