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FACT CHECK: Truth behind the viral video of a mosque vandalisation in Ashok Nagar, Delhi

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Summary

The viral video is not an old video from Samastipur, Bihar. The claim that a mosque was vandalized and a saffron flag as placed on its Minaret in Ashok Nagar area of Delhi is true. 

Amid the incidents of massive violence in Delhi, a video took social media by storm in which few men can be seen climbing up the minaret of a mosque, vandalizing it and placing a saffron flag on it. Allegedly, this video is from a mosque in Ashok Nagar, Delhi when a mob paraded towards a mosque and eventually set it on fire on February 25. 

Rana Ayub was one the people who posted the video of the incident but later deleted it after some people claimed that this is an old video, and after ANI reported that no mosque has been vandalized in 'Ashok Vihar' area of Delhi. 

This incident was firstly reported by The Wire where they earlier described the area as 'Ashok Vihar' but rectified and identified it as Ashok Nagar.

Amid the chaos, Rana Ayub again posted the same video saying, "Re-posting this video after verifying its authenticity."

A twitter page named Shaheen Bagh Official also shared a video of the incident claiming, "Update Ashok Nagar, Delhi 6.00 pm: A mosque has been vandalized by Hindutva terror forces, as they brazenly revisit their demolition tactics."

However, some of the users confidently made claims that this is an old video but provided no proof to support their claim. 

Many people including a user named Upasna Singh alleged that this is an old video of a mosque destroyed in Samastipur, Bihar in 2018.

The truth behind the claim 

As many people claimed that the viral video is an old one from Samastipur, Bihar, we performed reverse image searches to check if this viral video was present on the internet before 25th February 2020, but did not find any favorable result. With the help of keyword searches, we found the video in which a man hosts a saffron flag, tricolor at Mosque In Samastipur.

A comparison between both the videos makes it evident that the incidents shown in the videos are different. The mosque vandalized in Samastipur had two minarets, while the one in the viral video has only one minaret. Moreover, the flag was not hoisted on the minaret of the mosque in Samastipur. 

This leads us to the conclusion that the viral video is not from Samastipur, Bihar. 

The viral is video is from Ashok Nagar

We found a video of the same incident uploaded on a YouTube channel with the same claim. After 35 secs in the video, the man who is recording the video can be heard saying, "This is a Masjid in Ashok Nagar."

If we go by the Wire's report, they have also shared a10-sec footage of a burning mosque in which the minaret seen in the viral video can be spotted. 

The Wire's reporters who have covered the incident also came out and clarified that they personally witnessed the incident. 

Naomi Barton tweeted that she personally saw the flag on top of the minaret and witnessed a footwear shop underneath the mosque being looted.

Avichal Dubey, a journalist associated with the wire also shared a three-sec video clip in which the same minaret with a saffron flag can be spotted claiming that this was shot by him. 

In conclusion, the viral video is not an old video from Samastipur, Bihar. The claim that a mosque was vandalized and a saffron flag as placed on its Minaret in Ashok Nagar area of Delhi is true. 

Note: You can reach out to us at facthunt.in[at]gmail dot com if you find any issue with our articles.

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