The claim made that “Pakistan zindabad” slogans were raised at Silchar airport is false. AIUDF supporters were saying "Aziz Khan zindabad" to welcome Aziz Ahmed Khan, who is an AIUDF Member of Legislative assembly (MLA).
On November 6, BJP leader and Assam health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, put out a video on Twitter claiming that it showed supporters of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) raising "Pakistan zindabad" slogans at Silchar Airport in Assam.
"Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP @BadruddinAjmal. This thoroughly exposes @INCIndia which is encouraging such forces by forging an alliance. We shall fight them tooth & nail. Jai Hind," wrote Biswa while sharing the video.
The tweet was then picked up by national media outlets like Times Now and CNN News18. Some regional channels, like News Live, also picked up the news reporting that ‘anti-India’ slogans were raised upon Ajmal’s arrival.
In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. The AIUDF supporters were saying "Aziz Khan zindabad" to welcome Aziz Ahmed Khan, who is an AIUDF Member of Legislative assembly (MLA).
With the help of a relevant keyword search, we found a clearer video of Ajmal’s welcome outside Silchar airport uploaded on November 5. On closely analyzing the viral video, we found that that ‘Aziz Khan zindabad’ was chanted by AIUDF supporters, not ‘Pakistan zindabad’. However, it is important to mention that Aziz Khan zindabad can be phonetically very similar to the slogan "Pakistan Zindabad", especially if someone is previously told so.
Aziz Ahmed Khan who is an AIUDF MLA from Assam’s Karimganj South Vidhan Sabha constituency was accompanying Ajmal at the airport. Slogans of “AIUDF zindabad” were also raised.
Following the viral claim, AIUDF also issued a press statement clarifying that ‘Aziz Khan zindabad’ slogans were raised outside the airport. “We have been watching news run by News Live since the morning. Himanta Biswa Sarma is the owner of News Live. The channel claimed that our supporters raised the slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad’. This is completely false. People were raising slogans of Badruddin zindabad, AIUDF zindabad…we have other MLAs and slogans of their names were also raised. Slogans of Aziz Khan zindabad were also raised and it is being claimed that chants of Pakistan zindabad were raised. This is a political conspiracy to break the alliance that we will get into with Congress and Left parties.”
A case has also been registered against Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups by making claims that were false.
This is not the first time where such misinformation was spread on social media. Earlier in May this year, the supporters of Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi had raised slogans of 'Sajid Bhai Zindabad', which was being propagated as a slogan of 'Pakistan Zindabad'. You can read our article here:
Last year, the students of Madarsa in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh had raised slogans of "Saabir Sir Zindabad" which was propagated as "Pakistan Zindabad". You can read our article here:
In 2018, another video went viral with the claim that Congress workers were shouting "Pakistan Zindabad". However, they were actually shouting in support of the local Congress candidate Narayan Singh Bhati by raising the slogan "Bhati Saheb Zindabad" which may sound similar to Pakistan Zindabad.
In conclusion, the claim made that “Pakistan zindabad” slogans were raised at Silchar airport is false. AIUDF supporters were saying "Aziz Khan zindabad" to welcome Aziz Ahmed Khan, who is an AIUDF Member of Legislative assembly (MLA).
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