Photo of padlocked grave is from India, not Pakistan
The viral photo has been linked to necrophilia in Pakistan
Claim: Pakistani parents lock their daughters’ graves to avoid necrophilia, as shown in a viral photo.
Fact: The photo is not from Pakistan but Hyderabad, India.
On 29 April 2023, Indian media outlet ANI News published a report that includes a viral photo of a padlocked grave, claiming that Pakistani parents are locking their daughters’ graves to prevent people from sexually assaulting their bodies.
The proliferation of the claim is based on a tweet made on 26 April 2023 by author Harris Sultan who posted a photo of a grave with a green iron grille around and said that it shows people in Pakistan putting padlocks on the graves of their daughters to avoid rape.
“Pakistan has created such a horny, sexually frustrated society that people are now putting padlocks on the graves of their daughters to prevent them from getting raped. When you link the burqa with rape, it follows you to the grave,” his tweet reads.
ANI News quoted Pakistani media outlet Daily Times in their report, but Soch Fact Check found that they did not carry a photo of the grave in their editorial titled, “Unsafe in Graves”, published on 28 April 2023.
ANI News has now changed the cover photo of the article to a general view of the Minar-e-Pakistan monument but have yet to take the report down. They did, however, publish another report on 1 May 2023 titled, “Representative viral pictures of necrophilia story by Pakistan’s Daily Times incorrect, grave from Hyderabad.”
Fact or Fiction?
The claim was initially debunked by fact-checking organisation Alt News. The outlet’s co-founder, Mohammad Zubair, told Soch Fact Check that he used a keyword search to find a Facebook post that included a picture of the same grave. He then got in touch with the original poster, Abdul Jaleel, who confirmed that he took the picture.
To further investigate the claim, Zubair asked Jaleel, a social worker and resident of Hyderabad, India, “to visit that place [cemetery] again in the morning and make a video and [take] fresh pics”.
The comparison graphic below shows the viral image and the picture Jaleel recently took of the grave is the same based on key indicators such as the green padlocked gate and the tombstone.
According to Alt News, the cemetery is located opposite Masjid E Salar Mulk, a mosque in Darab Jung Colony, Madannapet, a locality in Hyderabad, India.
Alt News also shared a Google Street View of the cemetery, as can be seen below:
Their article features a video of Jaleel speaking to Muqtar Sahab, the mosque’s muezzin, who told him that the padlocked grave is one and a half to two years old and was constructed without the permission of the concerned committee.
He also told him that the issue of the grave blocking the pathway because it is located right in front of the entrance was discussed among the mosque’s committee members for eight days.
“A lot of people come here and bury bodies over the old graves without permission. The people who already have their close ones resting here have had complaints since they come here to read Fateha. In order to prevent others from burying any bodies further, the families have put the grille there,” Muqtar Sahab said while explaining why there is a grille around the grave.
He further stated that the jaali [grille] was constructed to prevent people from stamping on the grave because it is located at the entrance of the cemetery. He confirmed that the cemetery is located in Darab Jung colony, Madannapet.
Indian journalist Nikisha Uddagiri at NewsMeter — a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) — spoke to the family of the person buried in the padlocked grave. Mir Muzaffar Hashmi told the publication that the grave is of his mother, 65-year-old Zaheen Begum, who died in July 2020.
The family installed a grille in October 2020. “This is my mother’s grave, and we had to put up a grille because many people are stepping on the grave to enter the burial ground. Also, some of them are throwing [away] waste materials, including sanitary napkins,” he said.
Conclusion: The viral image of a padlocked grave that was linked with necrophilia in Pakistan is actually from Hyderabad, India. Moreover, the grille was not installed to prevent sexual assault, but to prevent people from stepping on the grave as it is located near the entrance of the graveyard.