While Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans were raised by AIUDF supporters on the arrival of party chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal at Silchar Airport, Alt News after fact-checking said it was a ‘false claim’.
Alt News was launched three years back to combat the phenomenon of fake news and is a signatory partner of the International Fact-Checking Network.
While sharing a video on his Twitter handle on Friday, Assam finance minister Sarma, who is also the convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), wrote: Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP @BadruddinAjmal.”
He also wrote: “This thoroughly exposes @INCIndia which is encouraging such forces by forging an alliance. We shall fight them tooth & nail.”
Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP @BadruddinAjmal.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) November 6, 2020
After the news came out in different media reports, the Opposition leader of Assam Assembly and Congress leader Debabrata Saikia issued a statement.
“I feel extremely concerned over media reports that some people raised ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogans at the Kurribhirgram airport in Silchar after the arrival of the AIUDF president”, Badruddin Ajmal.
He however said: “The exact word used by the sloganeers could not be made out distinctly from the news reports due to background noise in the video footage.”
“The Government should immediately direct the police to question the assembled people, analyze all available video footage and utilize forensic technology to ascertain whether the word used before the word ‘zindabad’ was actually ‘Pakistan’ or something else,” he added.
He said if the word ‘Pakistan’ was actually used, then those guilty of “this nefarious act” must be identified and brought to book.
AIUDF immediately issued a press statement where it termed it “cheap politics by BJP”.
The party claimed that “a section of media distorted the slogan ‘Aziz Khan Zindabad’ into ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.”
Press Statement by AIUDF on cheap politics by BJP, how they along with a section of media distorted the slogan ‘Aziz Khan Zindabad’ into ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. pic.twitter.com/obzPASSLNg
— AIUDF Official (@AIUDFOfficial) November 6, 2020
Alt News in its report said: “Upon closely listening to the audio, Alt News found that ‘Aziz Khan zindabad’ and not ‘Pakistan zindabad’ was chanted by AIUDF supporters.
“We found a clearer video of Ajmal’s welcome outside Silchar airport. This was uploaded on November 5,” the Alt News report said.
Aziz Ahmed Khan is an AIUDF MLA from Assam’s Karimganj South Assembly constituency.