Image of a cleanliness drive organized by Telangana Police was shared with a false claim that Bengal police is cleaning a mosque.
An image showing few police officers with water pipes surrounded by a group of Muslim men is circulating on social media with a claim that the image is from West Bengal. The social media users claim that the Bengal police has been instructed to clean the masjids so that the people can read Namaaz.
The caption of the post mentions, “Have you ever seen any policeman cleaning a temple? No right? But, Mamata didi’s police in Bengal can be seen cleaning a Masjid for people to recite Namaaz. Have a look.”(sic)
We started our investigation by running a reverse image search on Google, which led us to few images published by a Facebook user named AK News in June 2016. The caption of the post mentions that it shows Bhainsa Police cleaning a masjid (Panjesha Mosque) on Ramadan.
Upon observing the viral image carefully, we found a shop named SK Toys in the background. We geolocated the shop with the help of keywords on Google Maps and found that the shop is located in Bhainsa, Telangana. Below you can see a similarity between the viral image and the image on Google Maps.
Next, we searched for Panjesha Mosque in Bhainsa to further clarify the exact location of the image. We found the images of Panjesha Mosque on Google Maps, one can also see the shop of “SK Toys World” situated right in front of this Mosque in Bhainsa, Telangana.
Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search on Google to find similar news reports, which led us to a Facebook post published by Telangana State Police whose caption mentioned that the Bhainsa Police cleaned temples and mosques under the Swacch Bharat Programme. The post was published on 20 June 2016.
The caption states “Adilabad The DSP Bhainsa, CI Mudhole, SIs Tanoor, Lokeshwaram & Mudhole conducted Swatch Bharath programme and clean the Temples and Mosques and planted plants at Mudhole.”
We also found a news report by ETV Telangana published on 17 June 2016 titled Adilabad Town Cops Conducted Swachh Bharat. The news anchor mentions that the Telangana police conducted cleaning programmes under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan due to which they cleaned temples, mosques and several other worship places. You can watch the police cleaning a temple as well in the video below.
Fact Crescendo contacted ASP Bhainsa, Kiran Khare who confirmed to us that the viral claim is Fake. The image is not from West Bengal but from Bhainsa in Telangana. The image is old which was captured around 5 years ago during a Swach Bharat Abhiyan mission.
Fact Crescendo found the claim made along with the viral video to be False. The viral image dates back to 2016 showing Swach Bharat Abhiyan mission carried out by Telangana police. The image of the cleanliness drive in Telangana is being shared as police cleaning mosques in West Bengal.
Title:Old image from Telangana Goes Viral as Bengal police cleaning mosques.Fact Check By: Aavya Ray