This image is an illustration of a medical centre at a US university

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An image of a building design has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter posts alongside a claim it shows a design for a hospital set to be built by a Muslim body  in India on land that was designated for a mosque. The claim is false; the image shows an illustration of a medical centre at an American university; the Muslim body cited in the social media posts said the claim was “fake news”.

The image, which was shared beside another photo of a prominent Muslim laywer, was published on Facebook here on August 7, 2020. The post has been shared more than 400 times.

The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “Masterstroke by Sunni Waqf Board, a Babri hospital will be made with AIIMS-like free medical facilities on the 5 acre land granted by the Supreme Court of India. Well-known doctor Kafeel Khan could be made its promoter. One complete floor will be dedicated to the treatment of children where treatment for viral meningitis and other diseases will be provided.”

The Sunni Waqf Board is a Muslim body that oversees the use of Islamic properties for charitable purposes in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. AIIMS is an acronym for All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a major hospital in Delhi.

In November 2019, a piece of land in Ayodhya, a city in Uttar Pradesh, was given to the Sunni Waqf Board. The allotment was part of an Indian Supreme Court ruling that gave control of a bitterly disputed holy site in Ayodhya to Hindus, as AFP reported here. The site was formerly home to the Babri Masjid, an ancient mosque that was destroyed by a Hindu mob in 1992.

The post also references Doctor Kafeel Khan, an imprisoned physician who was arrested in January 2020 for protesting against a controversial citizenship law that critics said hurt Muslims and other religious minorities in India. 

The images were also shared alongside a similar claim about plans to build a hospital on Facebook here, here and here and on Twitter here and here.

The claim, however, is false.

A reverse image search on Google found the photo of the building design was originally published on the University of Virginia's website here in 2017. The image shows an illustration of the US university’s medical centre, which can be seen on Google Maps here

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading Facebook post (L) and photo on the University of Virginia’s website (R):

The statement dated August 7, 2020, reads: “UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has constituted a trust called Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, which proposes to build a mosque, a cultural and research centre and public utility facilities that will include a community kitchen, a hospital and a library at Dhannipur village, district Ayodhya place where 5 acre of land given to U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board as per Hon’ble Supreme Court of India judgement is situated. Today, a fake news is being circulated on different social media platforms, ‘U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board has taken a decision to build a Babri Hospital and doctor Kafeel Khan will be director of the hospital.’ this news is mischievous  and malafide and it is brought to the notice of media that only Mr. Athar Husain, secretary/spokesperson is authorised to speak on behalf of Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation and so any statement coming from any other source in this regard has no official sanction of the board or the trust.”

In response to the social media posts, the Sunni Waqf Board lodged a formal police complaint. It called the posts “a mala fide attempt to harm the trust,” the Times of India reported here

The second photo in the misleading posts shows Zafaryab Jilani, a prominent Muslim lawyer, speaking in 2019 after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the Ayodhya holy site. The photo was published by Reuters news agency here