An image has gone viral across social media which shows a man squatting on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. This image has gone viral in the context of the recent communal tensions that have occurred across India.
The internet services in Jodhpur were restored on Sunday after it was blocked since the day violence happened at Jalori gate. Over 200 people were arrested in connection with the violent incidents and 24 FIRs have been registered. Following the unrest in Jodhpur, there has been a flurry of misinformation across social media targeting Muslims.
The viral image shows a man squatting on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi while he is surrounded by other people. It is being claimed that the picture is from Rajasthan and the person sitting on his statue is a Muslim.
A Twitter user shared this image and wrote a caption in Hindi which reads, "राजस्थान में एक मुस्लिम महात्मा गांधी की प्रतिमा को कुर्सी बनाकर बैठा है यही हरकत अगर किसी हिंदू संगठन के कार्यकर्ताओं ने की होती तो अभी तक चमचे, चाटुकार, गद्दार, कपड़े टुकड़े गेग चूड़ियां तोड़ रहे होते."
[English Translation: In Rajasthan, a Muslim is squatting on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. If the workers of any Hindu organization had done the same act, then they would have been branded as grovelers, sycophants and traitors. And the Tukde Gang would have been breaking bangles.]
A Facebook user while mocking Muslims shared this image and wrote, "देश भक्ति का क्या कहना यारों यहां छूट केवल मुसलमानों को यारों."
[English Translation: What to say about patriotism, friends, only Muslims are exempted here.]
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The viral image is from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
We conducted a reverse image search on the image using the Yandex search engine. We came across the following tweet dating back to May 14, 2018. This indicates that the video is not from the recent violent incidents that took place in Rajasthan.
We came across this tweet by user Pratigya Mishra published on October 3, 2017. The caption of this tweet reads in English, "These are the actions of BJP people on 2nd October on Gandhi Jayanti. Amethi administration should pay attention otherwise youth of Amethi will be on the streets".
We checked whether such an incident took place in Amethi and were not able to come across any reports that covered the incident. However, we found these tweets after a keyword search of relevant keywords such as 'Mahatma Gandhi Statue Amethi'
These tweets showed the location of the statue on the basis of the captions of the image.
The following tweet published on August 6, 2019, was captured on the occasion of Kranti Diwas and Foundation Day of the Indian National Youth Congress. A wreath was laid on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Amethi on this occasion.
After examining the viral image and image in the tweet, several similarities in the background can be seen which affirms that the viral image is from Gandhi Chowk in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and not Rajasthan as the viral post claims.
The caption of the viral image claimed that in Rajasthan, a Muslim is squatting on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. This had taken place in the recent context of the Jodhpur violence.
In actuality, the viral image is not from Jodhpur Rajasthan but from Gandhi Chowk, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The image is around five years old dating back to at least 2017. However, The Logical Indian Fact Check team could not independently verify whether the man sitting on the statue is a Muslim or not. It seems that the viral image has been shared in a misleading context to inflame communal tensions through social media.
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