Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

HomeFact CheckOld Images Linked To Recent Vandalism Of Karachi Hindu Temple

Old Images Linked To Recent Vandalism Of Karachi Hindu Temple

Soon after reports of a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Karachi being vandalised by a group of unidentified men on June 8, several social media users shared videos and images claiming to show the shrine that came under attack. Many users shared images showing photos and idols of Hindu deities placed alongside rubble, linking them to the recent attack. However, Newschecker found that the images were old and unrelated to the incident.

Old Images Linked To Recent Vandalism Of Karachi Hindu Temple
Screenshot of Tweet by @TeamBharat_
Screenshot of Tweet by @BJPsengupta
Screenshot of Tweet by @CuteboyAnish1
Screenshot of Tweet by @RavitGurjar1

Archived versions of such tweets can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. 

Major Indian newspaper Times Of India also published a report on the incident carrying a similar image.

What Happened In Karachi?

A group of unidentified people attacked and vandalised Shri Mari Maata Mandir in ‘J’ area within the limits of Korangi police station in Karachi on June 8. The Express Tribune quoted Korangi SHO Farooq Sanjrani as saying that, “Five to six suspects entered the temple and escaped after vandalising it.” He added that a case was registered against unidentified suspects.

The incident has resulted in a war-of-words between India and Pakistan. The Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said, “We have conveyed our protest to the Government of Pakistan and again urged it to ensure the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities.” He also termed the incident as another act in “the systematic persecution of religious minorities” in Pakistan.

In a response,Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said, “Unlike the violence against the Muslim community that is orchestrated by religious fanatics who enjoy full patronage of India’s state machinery, the Government of Pakistan is seized of this matter and action is being taken against the perpetrators,” and added that an FIR has already been registered in the matter.

Incidents of temples being attacked and vandalised in Pakistan have been reported time and again. You can read such reports here and here

Also Read: No, Viral Image Does Not Show Massive Support To Imran Khan’s Recent Azadi March In Islamabad

Fact Check/Verification

Newschecker conducted Google reverse image searches of one of the viral images which led us to a report published in Scroll.in on June 4, 2020, titled ‘By demonising Hindus, Pakistan’s nationalist history overlooks colonial atrocities.’ The report featured the viral image with the caption, “A demolished Hindu temple in Karachi on December 2, 2012.” Notably, the image was credited to Rizwan Tabaassum/AFP.

Old Images Linked To Recent Vandalism Of Karachi Hindu Temple
(L-R) Image posted by Twitter user @TeamBharat_ and image published in Scroll.in website

Taking a clue, we conducted a keyword search on Google and found that the same image was uploaded in Getty Images with the caption, “Pakistani Hindus sit next to a demolished Hindu temple in Karachi on December 2, 2012. Authorities have demolished a 50-year-old Hindu temple in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi despite a stay order from a court sparking protest by the minority community, officials said. (sic) “

Further keyword search led us to a report in Pakistan’s The Express Tribune, dated December 1, 2012, on this incident. As per the report, Shri Rama Pir Mandir, a century-old-temple in Karachi’s Soldier Bazaar, and  three or four houses located next to it were demolished by a private builder, rendering around 40 people homeless, despite the Sindh High Court was hearing a petition seeking a stay order.

The report added that the police denied the existence of the temple completely, and maintained that it had orders to remove encroachments. Military Lands and Cantonment director Zeenat Ahmed had said that the builder had possession of the place “since years and these people were encroachers, and encroachers have no religion,” insisting that no temple was demolished. 

The report also stated that the residents denied the accusations of encroachment. Maharaj Badri, who reportedly lived inside the temple, denied that the land was encroached upon. “Our ancestors have been living here since independence. We are not encroachers,” he said.

The video report on the incident by The Express Tribune can be seen here

Several Indian and international news outlets had reported on the demolition of the Shri Rama Pir Mandir, Karachi in 2012. You can read them here, here, here and here.

The remaining images could also be traced back to the 2012 incident of demolition of Shri Rama Pir Temple in Karachi.

An India Today report, dated December 3, 2012, on the same incident carried the image showing a woman crying in front of the photos and idols of Hindu deities placed alongside rubble. 

(L-R) Image posted by Twitter user @CuteboyAnish1 and image published in India Today website

On carefully analysing the image featured in a report published in Times Of India, we noticed that the copy carried a collage of two images. The image of the left can be traced back to the 2012 incident. For the second image, we conducted a Google reverse image search which led us to a report by National Herald, dated August 24, 2020, with the caption ‘Pakistan demolishes Hanuman temple, Hindu homes in Karachi.’

(L-R) Second image published in Times Of India website and image published in National Herald website

On comparing the image featured in National Herald with the second image in TOI report, we could conclude that they are related to the same incident.

Conclusion

The images claiming to show the vandalism by a group at Shri Mari Maata Mandir in ‘J’ area of Karachi are old and unrelated to the recent incident. They show the 2012 demolition of Shri Rama Pir Mandir at Soldier Bazaar area of Karachi. While one is linked to the 2020 demolition of the Hanuman temple and Hindu homes in Karachi.

Result: False Context/False

Sources

Report Published In Scroll.in On June 4, 2020

Getty Images

Report Published In India Today On December 3, 2012

Report Published In National Herald On August 24, 2020


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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