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Chamarajanagar District SP Divya’s Images From Anjaneya Temple Shared With Misleading Claims

The Karnataka State Police Fact Check debunked the claim posted by a Twitter user on 12 August stating that it is factually incorrect and mischievous.

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Claim on Chamarajanagar district SP Divya Sara Thomas pressurising a priest to place a photo of Jesus in a temple.

A Twitter user claims that Chamarajanagar district SP Divya Sara Thomas visited #AnjaneyaTemple in Kollegala and pressurised the priest to place a photo of Jesus in the temple. The user claims that this was an attempt to convert the temple into a church. 

Posted on 13 August along with three photographs of SP Divya and the temple, the tweet garnered 3.7K likes and 3.2K retweets at the time of writing this fact check. The tweet reads as follows: 

“Chamarajanar district SP Divya Sara Thomas visited #AnjaneyaTemple in Kollegala & reportedly put pressure on the priest to place the photo of #Jesus inside the sanctum sanctorum of Temple and forced for pooja to be offered. This is attempt to convert the temple into church.”

The above claim has been widely shared on Twitter this past week. Author Shefali Vaidya tweeted the claim posted by another user on 12 August writing, “What effing nonsense is this? If the SP wants to be a Jesus peddling soul harvester, she can do it at home.” She later tweeted that SP Divya be suspended for the same. 

Another user shared this claim on Twitter which received 6K likes and 6.1K retweets as of 5pm on 14 August. 

We also received the below image on our Whatsapp verification number with the following claim: “ In the Chamarajanagar district SP Divya Sara Thomas went to the temple of Anjaneya in Kallegala and worshipped the idol of Jesus.” 

Whatsapp claim we received on Chamarajanagar SP Divya's visit to Anjaneya temple.
Whatsapp claim we received on Chamarajanagar SP Divya’s visit to Anjaneya temple

Fact Check/ Verification 

We reached out to Chamarajanagar district Superintendent of Police (SP) Divya Sara Thomas for verification on the said incident in the claim. She responded saying that the claim in context is false and “purely mischief intended to malign.”

During our research we came across a user who shared an image detailing the incident in context. It said that SP Divya was on her way to attend flood related services and came to Anjaneya temple on request. Coincidently the police personnel were there at the time when a photograph of Jesus was kept before God to offer archana (a temple ritual). The user states that someone mischievously took a photograph at that point and posted it on “Facebook with a fictitious title.”

On sharing this post with SP Divya, she confirmed it to have the actual facts of what really happened on that day. 

The Karnataka State Police Fact Check debunked the claim posted by a Twitter user on 12 August stating that it is factually incorrect and mischievous. The fact check explains that SP Divya, who’d recently taken charge of the district was on rounds in Kollegal Taluk for flood related arrangements when a few devotees requested her to visit the temple. Further the fact check explains, 

“On realizing that the new SP is from a different faith the priest after completing the puja rituals gifted her a photo of Jesus Christ along with photos of hindu deities also. The SP has not forced the priest or the devotees to offer archana for Jesus Christ nor did she carry any photos on her person to the temple. The photos of the incident has been misinterpreted and is being circulated in social media with incorrect information. The priest of the temple also has issued a clarification in this regard through a video.”

Karnataka State Police Fact Check on Chamarajanagar SP Divya's visit to Anjaneya temple
Karnataka State Police Fact Check on Chamarajanagar SP Divya’s visit to Anjaneya temple

In News Reports

After the photograph of Jesus in the temple went viral on social media with varying claims, Etv Bharat reported on the incident along with an apology and clarification from the priest through a video. 

You can also read Prajavani’s report on the incident here.  

Conclusion 

Our research including a clarification from the Karnataka State Police Fact Check makes it clear that though Chamarajanagar district’s SP Divya Sara Thomas visited Anjaneya temple in Kollegala, she did not pressurise the priest to place a photograph of Jesus in the temple. Therefore, the claim in context which associates SP Divya’s temple visit as an attempt to convert it into a church is misleading. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Chamarajanagar district SP Divya Sara Thomas

Tweet: https://twitter.com/Venugop87493747/status/1293570014415433728

Karnataka State Police Fact Check

ETV Bharat: https://www.etvbharat.com/kannada/karnataka/state/chamrajnagar/worship-to-jesus-with-anjaneya-swamy/ka20200810182511795

Prajavani: https://www.prajavani.net/district/chamarajanagara/kollegala-anjaneya-jesus-christ-photo-viral-752572.html


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Coronavirus

Claim On Pune’s Steam Bar Treating or Preventing COVID-19 Is False

Steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation.

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False claim on Pune's steam bar treating or preventing COVID-19

A social media user claims that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune. The claim is accompanied by a video which shows people seated in front of pipes used as steam inhalers. 

“Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune” the tweet reads. 

Other social media users have shared this claim as well. 

Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune: #corona #Covid19 #fightwithcorona

Posted by LIVE Ahmedabad on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

लो कल्लो बात 😎Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune:

Posted by Sanjieva Shankhdhar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fact Check/ Verification

Different states in India continue to witness a rise in COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, the epicentre of coronavirus in India has 2,75,404 active cases as of 8am on 25 September. It’s followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which have 95,568, 69,353 and 61,300 active cases respectively. 

At a time like this, the claim on Pune’s steam bar with inhalers has been shared by many social media users in the past few days. 

Steam inhalation can thin mucus and help it drain from the nose when experiencing  nasal congestion. “Controlled studies show that these remedies do not kill viruses in the respiratory tract. Besides, there are no studies testing the effect of these remedies on preventing infection by the novel coronavirus,” state the voluntary group of scientists, Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19, in their Hoaxbusters section. 

The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment.
The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment

On the other hand, a 2015 study published by the Spanish Pediatrics Association takes note of the burns or scalds that can be caused due to hot water or steam. “Steam inhalation therapy (SIT), which has been used traditionally and is still employed today to treat mild respiratory tract infections despite the lack of evidence to support its effectiveness, can also cause burns indirectly through scalding.”

Also steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation

“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” notes the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 

On 23 September, Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus, responded to the initial claim saying, “ Let’s not turn fear into business. This is completely useless.”

Note: We were unable to locate the exact steam bar from the claim. 

In the last six months, we’ve also debunked many other claims related to cure and prevention of coronavirus. You can read related fact checks here

Conclusion 

The recent claim which states that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune is false. Currently, there is no known medicine or treatment that can cure COVID-19. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19: https://indscicov.in/for-public/busting-hoaxes/

A study by Spanish Pediatrics Association: https://www.analesdepediatria.org/en-severe-burns-related-steam-inhalation-articulo-S2341287914001343

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public\

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus: https://twitter.com/FaheemYounus/status/1308820077324701696?s=20

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/how-do-i-use-steam-for-congestion


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Fact check

Cipla Did Not Issue A Statement On Remdesivir’s Direct Supply To Hospitals

Cipla set up an additional helpline to share information on availability of critical Cipla products for COVID-19 in July, 2020.

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Cipla's additional helpline for information on critical COVID-19 products

Cipla will supply the drug Remdesivir directly to a patient’s hospital, shows an image widely circulated on social media platforms. The accompanying image includes details of Cipla helpline for COVID-19 as well as other details on the drug. 

We received the image in context on our Whatsapp helpline number asking us to verify this claim. 

Claim on Cipla supplying Remdesivir directly to hospitals.
Claim on Cipla supplying Remdesivir directly to hospitals.

This claim with the accompanying image has been circulating on social media platforms since July this year.

Fact Check/ Verification 

On 15 July, Cipla, the global pharmaceutical company “set up an additional #helpline to share information on availability of critical Cipla products, for the #COVID19 pandemic period only.” 

The image in the claim is almost identical to the one shared by the company about their additional helpline. Except it does not include details on the drug. 

This claim began to circulate on social media platforms at a time when the company launched “its generic version of broad-spectrum anti-viral drug remdesivir (branded Cipremi), to be used on critically ill Covid patients in the hospitals,” reported Financial Express. 

Costing Rs. 4000, you can read more about Cipla’s remdesivir Cipremi launched in India here

We reached out to Cipla who clarified that they didn’t issue any such statement as written in the image. “The second part of the message (after the poster) is not a statement by Cipla,” they said. 

The obvious grammatical errors in the image also led to suspicion on its authenticity. This includes the spelling of the drug Remdesivir, which was incorrectly written as “Rendemsivir”. Other errors include doctor’s advice written as “Dr. s Advise”, and written as “N” and no full stops at the end of a sentence. 

Conclusion 

The claim with the accompanying image which states that Cipla will supply the drug Remdesivir directly to a patient’s hospital is false. The pharmaceutical company did not issue any such statement. A poster of Cipla’s helpline to share information on its critical products has been modified to fit the claim. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Direct confirmation from Cipla

Cipla’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cipla_Global/status/1283381524704849920?s=20

Cipla’s website: https://www.cipla.com/covid-care

Financial Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/cipla-launches-remdesivir-claims-it-is-inexpensive/2018015/

LiveMint: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/coronavirus-vaccine-cipla-launches-generic-version-of-remdesivir-in-india-11594223346722.html



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Fact check

Kerala Police Officer Pins Down Youth Congress Worker, Not BJP Member

The man pinned to the ground was identified as Anthony, a Youth Congress worker, reported The News Minute.

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Kerala police officer pins Youth Congress worker down

A social media user tweeted an image of a Kerala police officer pinning a man to the ground. The user claims that the man is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala. The tweet reads:

“This is how Kerala Police deal with @BJP4Keralam and @YUVAMORCHABJP at Thiruvananthapuram on #KTJaleelResign protest!”

Fact Check/ Verification

The photograph in context of a police officer pinning a man to the ground in Kerala has created quite a stir on social media platforms. Some users have equated the photograph to police brutality faced by the late George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. 

When some of our intellectuals and media said Kerala has achieved conditions of living comparable to those of most…

Posted by Karthikeyan Ramakrishnan on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Through a reverse image search of the photograph we came across a News Minute article from 15 September titled, “Kerala cop pins Congress worker to ground during protest, pic sparks outrage.” 

The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down
The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down

The man pinned to the ground was identified as Anthony, a Youth Congress worker, “in order to allow Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel’s convoy to pass through,” according to the article.

It further quotes State Congress vice-president and former legislator PC Vishnunadh who called the police act shameful. “Just see the cruelty that was shown to one of our young activist Antony, who turned into a victim of police high-handedness, as literally a replay of what happened in the US was played out,” he said. 

Kerala Protests Turned Violent

Last week, Kerala witnessed widespread protests by various political parties demanding the state’s higher education minister KT Jaleel’s resignation. This was after he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to a gold smuggling case. 

These protests which turned violent in many areas with police using water cannons included members of the Congress party, BJP, ABVP, Mahila Morcha and the Muslim league.

You can read more about the anti-government protests in Kerala here.

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram also posted the photograph in context on 14 September with the caption, “Citizen and Pinarayi government.”

പൗരനും പിണറായി സർക്കാരും

Posted by VT Balram on Monday, September 14, 2020

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal, shared a video published by Manorama News reporting about the photograph. 

അങ്കമാലി അമ്മാവൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി… 🏃🏃‍♀️🏃🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Posted by Josekutty Panackal on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Manorama Online also reported on the incident on 14 September. 

Conclusion

Our research makes it clear that the police officer in the photograph is pinning a Youth Congress worker to the ground, and not a member of Bharatiya Janata Party. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

The News Minute: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/kerala-cop-pins-congress-worker-ground-during-protest-pic-sparks-outrage-133126

New Indian Express: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2020/sep/12/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-protests-erupt-in-state-demanding-minister-jaleels-resignation-2195950.html

The Hindu: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/gold-smuggling-case-anti-govt-protests-roil-kerala-for-sixth-day/article32628592.ece

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram: https://www.facebook.com/vtbalram/posts/10157974220694139

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal: https://www.facebook.com/josekuttyp/posts/3479483808768662

Manorama Online: https://www.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/2020/09/14/protest-against-kerala-government.html

Prathmesh Kunt contributed towards research of this fact check.


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