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Fact Check: Video of a Covid-19 awareness march in Ajmer shared with false communal spin

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Summary

A video of the police marching on a red carpet was shared on Twitter with a false communal angle. In an investigation, it was found that the Police conducted that march in 2020 to raise awareness about Covid-19.

On May 7, 2022, @harshasherni Tweeted a video of the police marching down a road. The Tweet claimed that the video was from Ajmer. Taking a dig at the incident, @harshasherni wrote "Rajasthan's S!kul@₹ [sic] Government's $!kul@₹ [sic] Police" (translated), suggesting that the march was somehow a communal issue.

At a later part of the video, police can be seen carrying a sheet. The text "Chatti sharif mubarak" is visible at the bottom right corner, implying that the march is to celebrate Chatti Sharif, an Islamic festival in Ajmer.

Fact Check

By doing an image reverse search of a keyframe from the video it was found that the march was for the purpose of Covid-19 awareness, held by Rajasthan police in Ajmer in 2020. A Facebook post from June 30, 2020, by the page Ajmer Police Rajasthan had a post with images from the march. The top left and bottom right corners of the image show the police walking on the red carpet that is seen at the beginning of the viral video.

Near the end of the video, the police can be seen carrying a sheet. None of the Police persons seems to be wearing masks, in contrast to the images from the march itself, where every Policeperson can be seen wearing a mask. So, this part was likely from before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. Furthermore, media reports state that the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, where the police offer a sheet every year to celebrate Chatti Sharif, was reopened in early September. Therefore, the two videos are not actually related.

In conclusion, Ajmer Police did not march to celebrate Chatti Sharif. The march was for the purpose of spreading awareness of Covid-19. The visuals of the Police carrying a sheet were before the march seen in the first footage and unrelated to it.

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