The photo circulated in social media posts in Bangladesh. ( AFP / ARUN SANKAR)

Pakistani man's death at mosque misrepresented as incident in Bangladesh

A photo of a man lying motionless on the floor has been shared repeatedly in Facebook posts that falsely claimed he died in southeastern Bangladesh while performing the Muslim call to prayer. A family member of the deceased and a local police spokesman told AFP that he was actually from Muzaffargarh, a town in the Pakistani state of Punjab.
Graphic warning: story includes images of a dead person

"A muazzin named Saeed Ullah died while calling for prayers in a mosque at Sonagazi of Feni. May Allah (God) accept his death as a martyr, Ameen," read the Bengali-language caption alongside a Facebook post published on June 10, 2024.

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It shows a photo of a motionless man lying on the floor of a room while clutching a microphone stand.

Feni is a south-eastern district of Bangladesh.

The same photo with a similar claim was shared in Facebook posts here and here.

Some users also incorrectly claimed the person pictured was from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

However, AFP traced the photo to an incident in a town in Pakistan's most populous state, Punjab.

Wasim Gopang, public relations officer for the Muzaffargarh police department, told AFP that the man in the photo died from electrocution at a mosque in the town.

Pakistan mosque

A reverse image search in Google found a higher resolution version of the photo in a Facebook post published on June 8, 2024, by a user listed in Muzaffargarh (archived link).

The post's caption identified the person as Maulana Masood Azhar, a man who died from electrocution while announcing prayers at a mosque.

The caption also mentioned that Masood was the son of Maulana Muhammad Asgar Qureshi, a teacher at a local Islamic seminary called Jamia Anwarul Koran.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo shared in the false post (left) and photos published by a Pakistan-based user (right):

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The Pakistani man who shared the image, Hafeez Malik, told AFP that the person pictured was Maulana Masood Azhar from Ghazi Ghat village in Muzaffargarh.

"He was our neighbour. This brother died due to electrocution during Asr prayer in a local mosque," Malik said.

Asr prayer is the third obligatory prayer of the day in Islam.

An AFP journalist also reached out to Najaf Ali Abbas Qureshi, who said the man in the photo was his cousin and had been working as an imam at a Muzaffargarh mosque when he was electrocuted.

"He died on the spot," Qureshi said.

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