A picture of a group of women in burqa posing with a police officer is being shared widely on social media. Users claim that they are Kerala's women police. Users shared the image with a communal undertone comparing Kerala with Saudi Arabia.
"Do not be surprised, this photo is not from Saudi Arabia but from Kerala Police. Hindus keep sleeping," read the English translation of the caption.
The same photograph shared widely on Facebook.
This 2017 photograph is indeed from Kerala, but the women in the picture were girl students and not Kerala's women police.
Newsmeter performed a reverse image search on Google and came across a report by The New Indian Express published on 24 Oct 2017. According to the article, which featured the same image, the officer in the picture is K.G.Simon, the then-police chief of Kasaragod district of Kerala and burqa-clad women in the picture were students of an Arabic college at Uliyathaduka of Kasaragod district, Kerala.
The caption of the image reads: "Kasargod district police chief KG Simon poses with the students."
The article further said that the photograph was taken during a self-defence program organized by the police. All the girl students wore niqab (traditional Muslim attire) as the program was conducted outside the college. "According to a source close to the college, the girls wore the niqab because the photograph was taken at a public place (an auditorium), where the self-defence programme was held, and not on the campus," the article said.
This viral claim was earlier fact-checked by India Today. While speaking to India Today, K.G. Simon, who was a guest at the self-defence programme held in 2017, said: "This is a Muslim institute. This is the uniform of the students. They are not women police personnel, but students."
Therefore, the women in the 2017 photograph from Kerala were girl students and not women police personnel. Therefore claim made on social media about the picture is FALSE.