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Fact Check: 2016 Picture Of Mehbooba Mufti Praying In A Temple Viral With Misleading Claims

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A newspaper clipping showing former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, praying in a temple is doing rounds on social media. The description in the clipping states that she is worshipping at the Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal, Jammu, during the yearly fair, along with Kashmiri-Hindus.

Many users are sharing the image claiming to be a result of the abrogation of article 370 by the central government.  

A Facebook user posted the viral image with the caption:

हे भगवान मोदी जी सच कह रहा हूं अब तो आंखों में से आंसू आते हैं ऐसी तस्वीरें देखकर यह आपने क्या से क्या कर दिया 370 क्या समाप्त हुआ मानो की दुनिया ही बदल गई ॐ नमः शिवाय

(English Translation: Oh Lord Modi ji I am telling the truth, now tears come from my eyes, seeing such pictures, what have you done with this 370 What ended as if the world has changed Namah Shivay)

You can find the image here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the viral image and found the claims to be misleading. 

Running a Reverse Image Search of the viral picture led us to a June 13, 2016, article titled: कश्मीर पंडितों की धार्मिक यात्रा पर पथराव के बाद पूजा करने मंदिर पहुंची महबूबा मुफ्ती published on the website of Hindi newspaper, Amar Ujala. The first image of the news report matches exactly with the viral image. 

Amar Ujala has given the picture credits to the Indian news agency PTI. Taking a cue from this we looked for the image in the photo archives of the agency. The description of the picture reads: ‘Ganderbal: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti offers prayers at the Kheer Bhawani temple on the occasion of annual Mela in Ganderbal District in Srinagar on Sunday. PTI Photo by S Irfan (PTI6_12_2016_000083B)’. This confirms that the picture is from 2016.

Finally, we conducted a Google Keyword Search to know more details about the abrogation of article 370 in the country. Our search led us to an article published in Dainik Jagran informing us that article 370 was abolished on August 5, 2019, by the Modi government. Thereby, proving that the viral image was shot way before the abrogation of article 370. 

Therefore, based on our investigation, we can conclusively say that the picture of the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, worshipping in a temple has nothing to do with the abrogation of article 370. The photo is viral with misleading claims.

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