Outrage swept social media websites after a small clip of a larger video from the Barabanki police station had gone viral on the internet.
In the clip, newly appointed Barabanki SP Anurag Vats was seen interacting with the media. But what caught the attention of social media users was not what Vats said but the poster that was stuck on the wall behind the SP.
The poster that was seen in the clip bore what appeared a Muslim shrine, triggering social media users to question if pictures of religious places were allowed to be put up on walls in police stations and other govt offices.
Following the outrage, Barabanki police also took cognisance of the online furore.
प्रिय @Barabankipolice— Rahul Pandey (Journalist) (@STVRahul) October 27, 2021
यदि यहीं पर भगवान राम की फोटो होती तो अब तक SP महोदय को #SameerWakhende सेकुलर और वामपंथी गैंग बना देती.
हम @Uppolice का सम्मान करते हैं.. पर ये तस्वीर कहीं न कहीं उचित नहीं लग रही.@adgzonelucknow pic.twitter.com/s2TSM1uXnw
Some other users said had there been a photo of Lord Ram on the wall instead of a mosque, the secular and the leftist gang would have wasted no time in targeting the SP and launching a social media campaign against him.
प्रकरण का संज्ञान लिया गया।— Barabanki Police (@Barabankipolice) October 27, 2021
As Barabanki police find themselves in the midst of a social media controversy, it is worth exploring whether there is indeed a poster behind the chair of Barabanki SP and if there is, what is the significance of it.
Deva Sharif of Barabanki, Parijat Tree and Lodheshwar Temple
The picture on the wall as seen in the video clips that are doing the rounds on social media is of Deva Sharif, situated at a distance of 42 kms from Lucknow and 12 kms from Barabanki. It is the birthplace of Haji Waris Ali Shah. He died on 7 April 1905 and a building was built at the place as a mark of tribute Haji Waris Ali Shah, the Deva Sharif.
In addition to Shah’s shrine, the poster bears pictures of two other places. However, those who were outraged over the clip on social media perhaps did not see the entire video of Barabanki SP’s interaction with the media. In the extended video, it could be seen that a picture of a tree is seen to the left of Haji Ali Shah’s shrine. The picture is of Parijat tree and it bears religious significance. There is a village, Kintoor, 38 km from Barabanki. The village is named after Kunti, the mother of Pandavas. There have been many ancient temples and ruins of others there. One of these temples was built by Kunti. There is this Parijat tree near this temple.
Furthermore, there is also a picture of a temple in the poster. At the start of the video, one can see a red and white structure to the left of the Parijat tree. This is a photo of the mythological Shiva temple Lodheshwar temple located in Ramnagar tehsil of Barabanki itself. It is believed that this temple dates back to the Mahabharata period.
This entire information is available on the website of Barabanki district – in the tourism section. In essence, the poster that triggered outrage does not have religious connotations but is meant to promote tourism in and around Barabanki. Therefore, it can be concluded that Barabanki police station has a poster meant to promote tourism in the area, perhaps published by the tourism department. However, people on social media often do not verify claims before sharing them and expressing their outrage over it. Unfortunately, even the Barabanki Police Department fell victim to the social media outrage and launched an investigation without first verifying the claims.