By: Pradarshi Paul
Claim: A set of pictures showing streets covered in green flags has been shared on social media with the claim that West Bengal is turning into a ‘Mini-Pakistan’.
What Happened: A set of pictures have been circulated on social media with the claim that the pictures are from Domjur, a region in West Bengal. The images show streets decked with green flags with the Islamic crescent and star. The images have been shared with the following Bengali caption:
ডোমজুড়ের বুকে পাকিস্তানের পতাকা.. সারা ডোমজুড় জুড়ে পাকিস্তানের পতাকা ঝুলছে ডোমজুড় পুলিশ স্টেশন এর নাকের ডগায় .. পুলিশ প্রশাসন দের প্রতি তীব্র ধিক্কার জানাই.. ধিক্কার জানাই ডোমজুড়ের তৃণমূলের হিন্দু বিধায়ক কে.. মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় আপনাকে ধন্যবাদ.. আপনার জন্যই আজ আমরা বিনা খরচে পাকিস্তানে ঘোরার সুযোগ পেলাম.. জয় শ্রী রাম(copied).’
This translates to:
‘Pakistan’s flag at the heart of Domjur
Vote for Trinamool and watch your area turn into a mini Pakistan. The flag of Pakistan has been put up everywhere in Domjur, even under the nose of the police station. Shame on the Police and the authorities, shame on Trinamool Congress’s local lawmakers. Thanks to Mamata Banerjee for letting us visit Pakistan for free. Jai Sree Ram.’
These images and narrative have been shared by multiple people, with the number of people commenting and sharing these images is fast rising.
A profile by named ত্রি শুল (Trishul) has shared the same set of pictures and narrative in multiple Bengal related groups. Collectively, the message has reached a significant number of people.
Facts: While the flags in the picture do have the Islamic symbols of the star and the crescent moon on a green background, which is similar to that of Pakistan, they are noticeably lacking the white band at the side that the actual flag of Pakistan has. Thus this narrative is completely false.
The flag is probably that of the Indian Union Muslim League, which is similar to that of Pakistan, but does not have the white band and is also a different shade of green. The crescent is also reversed when compared to the flag of Pakistan. Here are the flags side by side for reference.
A number of social media users also pointed out that the flag is a general Islamic flag and not specifically the flag of Pakistan.
Conclusion: Recently, Metafact debunked a practically identical claim, wherein a similar flag was waved at a Congress rally and a false narrative was propagated claiming that the Pakistan flag was waved at a Congress rally. Like that, this is another attempt at spreading communal and Islamophobic propaganda directed at non-BJP ruled states.