In the light of the ongoing pro- and anti-hijab protests in several parts of Karnataka, a social media post accompanying a video of a man hoisting a saffron flag by climbing up the flag post is being widely circulated with a claim that anti-hijab protesters in Karnataka replaced the tricolour with a saffron flag. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of anti-hijab protesters in Karnataka replacing tricolour with saffron flag.
Fact: Students protesting against hijab at the Government First Grade College in Shivamogga hoisted a saffron flag on an empty flag post. The students did not replace the national flag. The District SP and the College Principal have clarified the same. College Principal further clarified that the tricolour was taken down much earlier on 26 January itself. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
During a protest against hijab in Shivamogga’s Government first grade college, one of the protesters climbed up the flag post and hoisted a saffron flag. The viral video shared in the post shows visuals of this incident.
Few news articles which covered the incident reported that protesters had replaced the tricolour with a saffron flag. Most likely, news articles like these could have been the source for the viral post.
However Lakshmi Prasad, SP Shivamogga speaking to the media clarified that the saffron flag was hoisted on an empty pole, and he rubbished the claim of the national flag being taken down.
A few journalists referring to the college principal’s clarification tweeted that protesting students hoisted the flag on an empty flag post and the tricolour was taken down much earlier on 26 January. Even India Today which earlier reported that protesters have replaced tricolour with a saffron flag, later reported that the flag post was empty.
Further, news articles reported referring to those present at the venue that a saffron flag was hoisted on an empty flag post. All these establish the fact that anti-hijab protesters in Karnataka haven’t replaced the tricolour with a saffron flag as claimed in the viral post.
To sum it up, Karnataka anti-hijab protesters did not replace tricolour with a saffron flag; the saffron flag was hoisted on an empty flag post.