In light of Agra police filing cases against at least 150 people for offering namaz on public roads, a social media post accompanying an image of two men fixing a banner appealing people not to offer namaz on roads is being widely circulated. The post claims that the banner was an outcome of the recent police action in Agra. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Banner requesting to refrain from offering namaz on road was put up in Meerut following the police action in Agra.
Fact: This banner was setup outside a mosque in Meerut back in 2019. The banner was setup following a police initiative. Few news articles published the same image in their reports related to the police initiative back then. Thus, this banner has nothing to do with Agra police’s action of filing charges against 150 persons, for offering namaz on road. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
It is true that Agra police had booked at least 150 members for offering namaz on roads. However, the banner shared in the viral post was not put up following the Agra police action.
Reverse image search of the viral photo led us to a tweet by Meerut police, that shared the same image. The tweet dates back to August 2019 and the translation of the caption associated to the image reads ‘Imam Haji Akhtar put up banners at the mosque with Patel pavilion’.
Taking a cue from the Meerut police tweet, Google search with relevant keywords yielded a couple of news reports related to banners appealing people to refrain from offering Friday prayers on roads in Meerut (here & here). These reports published the same viral images and are published in August 2019.
As per the news reports, following the initiative of Meerut police, Muslims refrained from offering prayers on roads and Masjid committees have put up banners appealing people in this regard. Thus, it can be concluded that the viral image shows a banner that was put up in 2019.
To sum it up, this banner appealing people to refrain from offering namaz on roads is from 2019.