Old video of cow slaughter on BJP flag from Manipur falsely linked to Karnataka polls

By: Ishita Goel
May 18 2023

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Old video of cow slaughter on BJP flag from Manipur falsely linked to Karnataka polls


The Verdict False

The incident dates back to January 2022 and was carried out in protest against the BJP's announcement of tickets for the Manipur Assembly polls.

Claim ID 28b499e7

Polls in the Indian state of Karnataka were held on May 10, 2023, and Congress won 135 seats out of 234 seats. After the Congress party's thumping win in the polls, an image showing a cow being slaughtered on a flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is viral on social media. A social media user shared screengrabs of the video, alleging that the incident is from Karnataka, and Muslims are celebrating Congress's victory in the election. However, they have since deleted their tweet and posted a correction. Another social media user posted the video, writing: "The Khan-Grace victory in Karnataka is celebrated by slaughtering a cow on the BJP flag. Real Indians!! A cow pays the price for hatred!!!" However, the video is old and unrelated to Karnataka.

In Fact
Through a reverse image search, we found that the video dates back to 2022. On January 31, 2023, a Twitter user with the account name 'Nishant Azad/निशांत आज़ाद' tweeted a video of the same incident and captioned it "Muzlims slaughtered a #cow keeping on #BJP flag. The goons also abused Chief Minister @NBirenSingh and @BJP4Manipur president A Sarda Devi." In reply to the same tweet, Chief Minister of Manipur N.Biren Singh, on February 1, 2022, commented shared a screenshot of a headline from the news website Imphal Free Press which stated: "Three arrested for allegedly slaughtering cow over BJP candidates list". The viral image matches the frames in the video, suggesting that this video is not from Karnataka.

We located the same news report by Manipur local newspaper Imphal Free Press from January 31, 2022, and found that it talked about a video that had gone viral showing three individuals slaughtering a cow. According to the report, the video showed a cow being slaughtered over a BJP flag laid on the ground, "as a mark of protest against the announcement of the BJP tickets for the Manipur Assembly polls". The three were arrested by police and booked under the Prevention of Cruelty To Animal Act 1960, and for creating enmity among different groups. The story also described the men in the video as abusing Manipur CM N. Biren Singh, as seen in the tweet by 'Nishant Azad'.

According to a report by The Times of India dated February 2, 2022, this incident occurred ahead of the Manipur Assembly election, after the BJP announced its tickets for the 60 seats. The report also described the same video of a cow lying on a BJP flag and said that it went viral in late January 2022. The arrests were made at the Meitei Pangal area in Thoubal district of Manipur after the police registered a suo motu case, the report added.

Another report by Imphal Free Press from January 31, 2022, spoke about the same video and added that BJP had announced the full list of party candidates contesting the elections. Protests were staged, and rejected candidates of the BJP were also noticed lighting BJP flags and banners on the streets as a sign of protest. 

The Verdict
A video of an incident that happened ahead of the 2022 Manipur Assembly election is being falsely shared to spread misinformation, claiming that it happened in the aftermath of Congress' victory in the 2023 Karnataka polls. As the video predates the polls and several reports corroborate that the incident took place in January 2022, we have marked this claim as false.

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