*Lal Chowk Srinagar IIOJk*, picturesque scenery of Illegal Indian Occupied Kashmir ( IIOJK). Everyone was watching ‘ batting.
In the above viral tweet shared by the user, we can see a crowd of people in a place and watching cricket in the big screen present in the venue. The user went on to claim that the place is Lal Chowk in Srinagar where the people are watching the Pakistani Cricket player Babar Azam batting in the big Screen. Some users even added that those scenes were from the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 and similar claims can be seen here, here and here. Come, let’s check authenticity of this viral claim.
What’s the truth?
When we started our research, first we found out that, there was no live screening of Pakistan cricket matches at the Lal Chowk.
Moreover, when we used the reverse image process with Google Lens we found the same picture uploaded on the X account of the Srinagar Police with the caption, “People at Lal Chowk Srinagar today witnessed Live coverage of Chandrayaan-3 Landing on big screen at ‘lal chowk square’. @isro#Chandrayaan3.” This clearly proves that the viral image circulated with claims that the crowds watching the Pakistan cricket match where the player Babar Azam is seen with a bat is a digitally edited one.
— Srinagar Police (@SrinagarPolice) August 23, 2023
Come, let’s have a comparison of both the images below:
When we dug a little deep we found out that the original image was shot by a Srinagar based photographer namely, Srinagar-based photojournalist Basit Zargar on August 23, 2023, showcasing the live landing of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 on August 23. There was a total of four images and this viral picture was one among them. The original picture shows the Chandrayaan3 successful launch on the big screen present in the Lal Chowk which was used to digitally edit and morph with a picture of Babar Azam’s batting.
Likewise, we also got an article published from the local news outlets namely, “The Kashmir Upfront”which denied the viral claim and clarified the confusion. There is also a YouTube video from the channel “News Now” which telecasted the live Chandrayaan 3 launch from the Lal Chowk of Srinagar on 23 August 2023.
This perfectly proves that, the people gathered in Lal Chowk were watching the Chandrayaan 3 launch which was edited with Pakistan cricket player Babar Azam’s image and circulated with wrong accusations.
Therefore, through our intense research we found out that the original image is displaying the Chandrayaan 3 successful launch on the big screen. This image was later digiatlly engineered showcasing the crowd-watching the Pakistan cricket player Babar Azam holding a bat and is widely shared on social media with false claims.