This video shows protesters chanting pro-India slogans at a rally in northern India
A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter that claim it shows protesters chanting pro-Pakistan slogans at a rally against India’s new anti-citizenship law in the northern Indian city of Lucknow. The claim is false; a closer analysis of the video found it shows protesters chanting pro-India slogans; the protest's organisers said they heard no pro-Pakistan slogans being chanted at the protest.
The video was shared in this Facebook post published on December 28, 2019. It has been viewed more than 50,000 times.
The 12-second clip shows protesters chanting slogans and waving green flags.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
The post’s caption states: “So-Called Peaceful Anti-CAA Protestors in Lucknow Raising ‘Long Live Pakistan’ Slogans!”
CAA refers to India's Citizenship Amendment Act, a law passed on December 11, 2019, which grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Critics labeled the law anti-Muslim, resulting in violent nationwide protests, as reported by AFP here on January 7, 2020.
The claim is false; the video shows protesters chanting pro-India slogans at an anti-citizenship law protest.
A longer video of the same protest was published here on Twitter on December 29, 2019. The video in the misleading posts corresponds with the Twitter video from the 10-second to the 22-second mark.
Protesters in the longer Twitter video can be heard chanting “Akbar Owaisi Zindabad, Kashif Sahab Zindabad, Hindustan Zindabad”, which translates to English as: “Long live Akbar Owaisi, Long live Kashif sir, Long live India.”
Akbar Owaisi refers to Akbaruddin Owaisi, Indian politician and leader of the AIMIM party. Kashif is the aforementioned leader of the AIMIM party’s Lucknow division.
The AIMIM’s Lucknow office chief Kashif Ahmad denied reports of pro-Pakistan slogans being raised during the protest in a phone conversation with AFP on January 8, 2020.
“That claim is fake, there were no pro-Pakistan slogans raised in our entire rally. Our supporters only raised anti-citizenship law slogans, pro-party and pro-party, pro-party leadership, including my name, and pro-India slogans,” he said.
Ahmad shared four photos from the protest on his Twitter account here. No pro-Pakistan placards can be seen in these photos.
लखनऊ में हुए 13दिसम्बर को AIMIM के CAB औऱ NRC के खिलाफ शांति प्रदर्शन में लिखी गयी हुई FIR पर लखनऊ पुलिस और उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार का शुक्रिया अदा करता हूँ।@asadowaisi@ShaukatAli_77 @warispathan pic.twitter.com/mtuvh8Yo8b— Kashif Ahmad (@KashifA71249481) January 4, 2020
Another video of the same rally uploaded here on YouTube on December 13, 2019, shows protesters chanting “India is ours”.
According to this report by the English-language Indian daily newspaper Indian Express published December 18, 2019, Lucknow police filed sedition charges against protesters at the December 13 rally “for allegedly raising anti-national and objectionable slogans”.
Police later dropped these charges, citing a “‘clerical’ mistake”, as reported by English-language Indian newspaper Hindustan Times here on December 18, 2019.
The Indian Penal Code defines sedition as committed when “whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law”.