Ever since the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, it's as if the floodgates to misinformation and fake news has been opened wide - all with the intention to create unrest in J&K. Those who tried to use senior Kashmir leader's death for their petty gains are now continuing efforts, even more so after realizing that law and order prevailed in the valley. Once again, Pakistan is using Geelani's death to stir up misplaced feelings among Kashmiri youth.
Kashmiri Facebook groups are sharing images of Geelani, including ones that are being claimed to be of the Kashmiri leader when he was young. The picture doing the rounds on social media and on WhatsApp claims it is a "rare picture of young Geelani taken away by Indian armed forces."
The sepia photograph has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms with the same caption. The photograph is being shared to instigate an emotional and anti-national response in the wake of Geelani's death.
International Business Times reviewed the claims and found them to be false. First of all, the picture has gone viral with the wrong claim. The man accompanied by officials in the uniform is not the deceased leader, Geelani. Moreover, by the uniform worn by the officers accompanying the man, it is clear that they are Pakistan police.
A simple image reverse search on the web of the viral photograph reveals the true identity of the person in the image. It is Sardar Attaullah Mengal, the first elected CM of Balochistan.
The image was not picked out randomly as it was already in circulation on Twitter. Mengal died on September 2, and many users shared this image while expressing condolences, making it go viral. Some miscreants shared this image and made it go viral with the wrong context in hopes to disrupt peace in J&K. Some users were quick to debunk the false identity.
Since Pakistan failed to use his death to create new unrest in Kashmir, now this is seen as a soft attempt to peddle misplaced and unfounded anger.