False reports claim Indian college cancelled degrees over 'pro-Pakistan slogans'

·3-min read

An image has been shared in multiple Facebook and Twitter posts that claim it shows 100 Muslim medical students in India's Srinagar city whose degrees were cancelled after they raised pro-Pakistan slogans. The claim is false; a spokesman for the local health and medical education department said the reports were "completely fake", while the photo is from 2017 and shows students attending morning assembly in a different college in Uttar Pradesh.

"100 beauties of Srinagar medical college who raised the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad will no longer be able to become doctors. The government cancelled their degree," reads a Hindi-language Facebook post from October 29.

“Pakistan Zindabad” is a Hindi-language phrase that translates as “long live Pakistan”.

Srinagar is the largest city and the capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir region.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on नोनोवेम्बर १६,

The image circulated online after reports of college students in India celebrating Pakistan's win in the India-Pakistan cricket match during the T20 World Cup in October.

Anti-India sentiment is widespread and deep in Muslim-majority Kashmir, a Himalayan territory claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan. In August 2019, the Indian government abrogated Article 370 that allowed autonomy to the state.

The image circulated in similar posts on Facebook here, here and here and on Twitter here and here.

However, the claim is false.

Photo of women in burqas

A Google reverse image search of the photo of women standing in line found the same picture in an article from November 13, 2017 by a local news website, The Morning Chronicles, about the education of Muslim girls.

Headline of the article reads: "Winds of change: Muslim girls embrace education, aim high."

The photo caption reads: "Students of Fatima Girls Inter College during the morning assembly at Daudpur Village in district Azamgarh. Image Credit: IANS".

Fatima Girls Inter College is in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (left) and the image in the 2017 article (right):

Screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (left) and the image in the 2017 article (right)

Fatima Girls Inter College shared a photo of the newspaper report on November 13, 2017 in a Facebook post captioned, "morning prayer @college".

Contacted by AFP, Asif Daudi, the secretary of the college said: "This image is from our college around two or three years ago during the college morning assembly."

'Fake' reports

Vijay Kumar from Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police said reports about the alleged cancellation of degrees at Srinagar's Government Medical College are "completely fake".

"The government has not taken any decision like cancelling the degree of medical students," he said.

Additional Chief Secretary at Government of Jammu and Kashmir Vivek Bhardwaj also refuted the claim.

"Degrees are granted after completion of studies. As no degrees have been granted, how can they be cancelled?" he told AFP.

AFP found no news reports of government cancellation of medical students' degrees in Srinagar in 2021.

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