Bhilwara Police arrested Abdul Salam, the former district president of the banned Islamist radical organization PFI (Popular Front of India), for raising pro-Pakistan slogans in a rally. A video clip went viral in which Pakistan Zindabad slogans could be heard, and registered a case on May 15 this year. Propaganda website Alt News also did a fact-check and gave a clean chit to the PFI leader.
The Station House Officer of the police station said they sent the viral video for forensic analysis following the complaint. As seen in the video, the investigation found that raised Pakistan Zindabad shout. Furthermore, found that the rally was held on February 7, 2021, for Nathulal Rao, who managed to win an election from Ward 57 on a ticket of SDPI, the political wing of the PFI. The rally was conducted by Abdul Salam Ansari, former district president of PFI. The people involved in the rally are visibly raising slogans supporting Pakistan. Based on this video evidence, PFI leader Abdul Salam Ansari was arrested by the police. Nandlal Rinwa, in charge of the Subhash Nagar police station, said that on May 15, 2022, Nemichand’s son Babulal Khatik, a resident of Sanganer, registered a complaint in this regard and was sent the video for forensic examination. As per the forensic report, which came on Monday, raised Pakistan Zindabad shouts during the rally. Rinwa stated that Abdul Salam has been detained and is being probed for the details of other persons who were part of the march and that necessary action is being carried out.
Days after the registration of the complaint and the matter started to gain public attention, the far-left propaganda website Alt News, which is infamous for covering Islamist propaganda, resorted to supporting PFI, claiming that no pro-Pak slogans were raised in the rally. It gave a clean chit to PFI leader Abdul Salam and contended that ‘SDPI Zindabad’ slogans were raised, which were being passed off as ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans on social media. Notably, Alt News also quoted Abdul Salam, the PFI leader who has now been arrested for organizing the rally. “The viral video is from February 7, 2021, after the local election. The video shows a rally segment after SDPI’s Nathulal Rao won in Ward 57. The claim that pro-Pakistan slogans were chanted is false,” reported Alt News as the quote by Abdul Salam Ansari.
Alt News also mentioned, “The claim that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised in the video is false.” They stated that the chant is “SDPI Zindabad” and not “Pakistan Zindabad.” The co-founder of the propaganda portal Mohammed Zubair, who has been booked in several cases for fostering enmity between communities and instigating riots, also took to Twitter in May 2022 to support the claim. Not only did Alt News deceive its readers into believing that protesters attending the PFI rally chanted ‘SDPI Zindabad’, but it also tried to damage the allegations against the Islamist organization by emphasizing that the video was from February 2021 and not May 2022, as if chanting slogans in support of Pakistan in February 2021 were adequate and would not have attracted disciplinary charges.
However, Alt News seems to have learned this devious practice of highlighting inconsequential discrepancies to prove the attendant claims made along with the viral video are false. The protesters chanted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans in the rally, but Zubair and Alt News stressed that the video was more than a year old, from February 2021, and that the protesters were chanting slogans in support of PFI.