A video is being shared on social media claiming it as the visuals of Maharashtra Navanirman Sena activists making a Muslim teacher offer saffron shawls to his girl students. This post claims that Raj Thackrey-led Maharashtra Navanirman Sena activists have done this after the Muslim teacher had forced his female students in a Christian school to recite Namaz. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of Maharashtra Navanirman Sena activists forcefully making a Muslim teacher to offer saffron shawls to girl students.
Fact: The video shared in the post shows a recent incident that took place during ‘The Kashmir Files’ film screening at a theatre in Nashik, Maharashtra. On 23 March 2022, a scuffle broke at this theatre after a group of women who arrived to watch ‘The Kashmir Files’ wearing saffron stoles were allegedly made to remove the same before entering the cinema hall. A group that had sponsored these women to watch ‘The Kashmir Files’ has provided these saffron stoles for their identification as part of this group. There is no communal narrative in the incident. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of the screenshots in the video, it is found that several Facebook users have shared this video in the last week of March 2022. They can be seen here and here. Sharing the video, these users mentioned that the management of a theatre in Nashik had forcefully removed saffron shawls worn by a group of women who came together to watch ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie.
When we searched for more reliable sources using these keywords, a photo showing the same person as in the viral video was found tweeted by ‘ANI’ on 23 March 2022. ‘ANI’ tweeted it as the pictures of a scuffle that broke out at a theatre in Nashik during the screening of ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie. This scuffle reportedly took place after the theatre management had demanded a group of women to remove saffron stoles before entering the cinema hall.
While speaking about this saffron stole issue with ‘ANI’, one of the women from this group said, “The women had joined a group that was helping them watch ‘The Kashmir Files’. The group had no badge or anything of that sort, so they provided them with saffron stoles for their identification as part of the group. There was nothing else behind it”. So, it can be confirmed that the man who was offering saffron shawls in the video is one of the organizers of this group that sponsored ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie for these women. Reporting the complete details of this incident, several news websites published articles in March 2022. They can be seen here, here, and here. It is nowhere reported that the man who is offering saffron shawls to these women in the video belongs to the Muslim community.
To sum it up, the video of an incident involving saffron shawls in Nashik during the screening of ‘The Kashmir Files’ is shared with a false communal narrative.