A video of the protest at Ladakh’s Kargil against the Hazara Killings has been falsely shared as a protest in PoK.
In the backdrop of the deaths of eleven coal miners from the Shiite Hazara community, who were kidnapped and killed by the extremist organization Islamic State in Mach area of restive Balochistan province on January 3, 2021, a video showing people protesting is being widely circulated claiming that it shows demonstrations in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) against the Pakistan Army for inflicting violence on the community.
A Twitter user named Ali Reza shared the video with the caption saying, "Thousands of locals in #Pakistan occupied #Kashmir protested against the atrocities & human rights violations committed for decades on it own people by Pakistan Army. Is this the beginning of the end of Pakistan, the Garrison State?"
The community began demonstrating and refused to bury the bodies of the deceased in an act of protest. Prime Minister Imran Khan visited a delegation of the Hazaras and Shiite leaders in Quetta and assured compensation for the dead on January 10, following which the protest ended.
In our investigation, we found this claim to be misleading. The video is not from PoK but from India's Ladakh where people protested in Kargil under the banner of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama Isna Asharia Kargil organization against the disturbing incident that took place in Balochistan province.
With the help of relevant keyword searches, we found a video of the protest uploaded on the platform on January 8, 2021, by Jammu and Kashmir's local daily, Daily Excelsior, titled, Kargil: Massive Protest Against Hazaras' Killing In Pakistan. According to the description, the rally was held in Kargil to protest the death of 11 Hazara Shia community members. The protest rally was organized under the banner of Anjuman Jamiyat Ullama Isna Ashriya Kargil (AJUIAK) Ladakh, starting of Isna Ashriya square passing through Khomeni Chowk, Lal Chowk concluding at Isna Ashriya square in which hundreds of people participated. Protesters can be seen carrying the same banner as in the viral video.
On further investigation, we found the entire protest footage uploaded on the Anjuman Jamiat ul Ulama Isna Asharia Kargil-Ladakh (AJUIAK) channel of YouTube. The same clip can be seen from 3 minutes 18-second mark.
A Kashmir-based journalist, Sajjad Kargili shared the same video with the caption saying, "Thousands staged a protest in #Kargil against the #HazaraShiaGenocide in #Pakistan."
In conclusion, a video of the protest at Ladakh’s Kargil against the Hazara Killings has been falsely shared as a protest in PoK.
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