Over the past few days, Indian media outlets have picked up an image of a grave with a padlocked grille over it. These outlets then went on to incorrectly report that the incident happened in Pakistan and was done to stop necrophilia.
Actually, Hyderabad, India, was the site of the incident.
On April 27, India Today reported, using photographs shared on social media, that some Pakistanis had resorted to sealing their daughters’ graves “to protect them from sexual violence” since the social milieu had given rise to a “sexually charged and repressed society”.
On April 29, the Indian news outlet ANI repeated the allegations without naming any authorities or sources and made reference to an editorial that had previously appeared in the Pakistani publication Daily Times.
Several Indian news organisations, including the Times of India and NDTV, published ANI's report from their syndicated feed, claims fact-checking website Alt News.
The same image used by ANI was reportedly used by the Hindustan Times in an article that has since been removed, according to Alt News.
A post from ex-Muslim Harris Sultan, who published the identical picture on Twitter and claimed it was shot in Pakistan, was also carried by a number of Indian media sources.
The photograph cited by Indian media sites was actually taken from a graveyard in India’s Hyderabad, according to a fact-check by Alt News that was published on April 30.
The cemetery is in Darab Jung Colony, Madannapet, Hyderabad, and is right next to a mosque called Masjid E Salar Mulk, according to the report, which also included a picture of the cemetery’s Google Street View in which the headstone in issue was plainly visible.
The newspaper also got in touch with a social worker from Hyderabad named Abdul Jaleel, who went to the location and took photos of the burial in question.
Jaleel also talked with Muqtar, the muezzin of the mosque, who said that the padlocked burial, which was about one and a half to two years old, had been built without the consent of the relevant committee.
"A lot of individuals come here and illegally bury bodies over old graves. People who come here to read the fateha have been complaining ever since their loved ones have been laid to rest here. The relatives have put the grille there to stop anyone from burying any more dead, he was cited as saying in the story.
The muezzin debunked rumours about the relocation and movement that were being disseminated online.