A video showing a mosque being razed to the ground, is being shared widely on social media, with users alleging that the structure, in Prayagraj, was brought down by the Yogi administration for hoisting a Pakistan flag. We also received this video on our Whatsapp tipline.
Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “UP mosque razing Pakistani flag”, which led us to a Hindi news report in the Dainik Bhaskar, dated January 11, 2023. According to the report, the Shahi Masjid, which was built during the time of Sher Shah Suri, at the Saidabad market was razed to the ground as part of a widening work being done on GT Road by the Public Works Department. We learnt that an appeal had been submitted by the mosque authorities to a lower court, however, on January 9, the mosque was demolished despite a hearing going on.
We learnt that Live Hindustan has also reported this incident, stating that the mosque was demolished due to road-widening work. None of the reports stated that the mosque was being demolished for hoisting the flag of Pakistan. The official Twitter handle of Prayagraj Police said that the Shahi Masjid was located in the road-widening route, hence it was being razed. Apart from this, the official Twitter handle of Prayagraj Police tweeted that the Shahi Masjid was located in the road-widening route, hence it was removed. According to the police note, translated from Hindi, the mosque was razed on January 9 after a consensus was reached between the officials of the PWD and members of the mosque committee.
Dharmendra Dubey, the police SHO from the area, confirmed to Newschecker that the mosque was demolished due to road-widening work, and that the viral claim was false. He further clarified that that flag seen on the mosque was an Islamic flag and not a Pakistan flag.
We also came across some old news reports regarding the road-widening work. According to a Live Hindustan report, dated December 2022, and some local journalists, many encroaching houses and shops were demolished in Saidabad by the PWD department.
Newschecker found that the mosque in Prayagraj was demolished because of road-widening work undertaken by the PWD and not after a Pakistani flag was hoisted on it.
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