Misleading and false claims spread like wildfire on social media especially when they are communal in nature. Over the last few weeks, social media users have been sharing images and videos of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Jaipur claiming to show that a “mazar has been constructed” on the ramparts of the temple and that a portion of the temple has been overtaken by the Muslims to offer namaz. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Controversy Around The Lakshmi Narayan Mandir In Jaipur
A video shared on Twitter by Sudarshan News on January 21, 2022, seems to have triggered this controversy as the video shows a man allegedly a member of the Dharohar Bachao Samiti, claiming that the Devsthan Vibhag has shut the Shiv Mandir and a ‘Mazar’ (tomb) has been built on it. Sudarshan News shared the video claiming ‘Mazar Jihad.’
Members of the Dharohar Bachao Samiti in Jaipur, led by Advocate Bharat Sharma, claim this to be a bid by ‘another community’ to capture the ‘Akhand Jyoti’ (the eternal lamp) that is lit on the ramparts of the Hindu temple and convert it into ‘their religious place’.
The group lodged a complaint regarding the same at the Manak Chowk police station in Jaipur and also conducted a mass Rudrabhishek on ‘Somvati Amavasya’ recently. The group has further demanded that a Hindu flag be put up on the temple ramparts by Mahashivaratri on March 1, 2022.
To verify the veracity of the viral claim, Newschecker conducted a keyword search for ‘Mandir Shri Lakshmi Narayan Jaipur’ and came across several images of the temple. An image uploaded by Alamy.com shows the dome of the temple covered with a green-coloured cloth. Notably, the image was taken on January 29, 2020.
Further, we came across an 8 minute long YouTube video uploaded by one RJ Saroj Swami on October 30, 2020, where one dome of the temple was seen covered in green-coloured cloth at approximately 6:44 minutes into the video.
We noticed ‘Sayed Chandi Wale Baba Chiragi’ written in Hindi near the dome and conducted a keyword search for the same and came across a YouTube video uploaded by one Journalist Naeem Qureshi uploaded in 2017. In the video, a man can be heard saying that the place is a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. Both Hindus and Muslims come here to seek blessings of Sayed Chandi Wale Baba, the man added. The shrine attracts people from different religions. The shopkeeper said that he has seen people coming to the shrine of Sayed Chandi Wale Baba for over 40-50 years, the man said.
Newschecker also found a tweet by Rajasthan Police that dismissed the viral claims regarding Lakshmi Narayan Temple as ‘rumours’. It added that the temple’s priest has said there is no dispute and the viral claims are misleading. The tweet also carried a clip of the temple’s priest who dismissed the claim that Shiv Mandir has been shut down and added that prayers are being offered in Shiv Mandir every morning and evening. The priest also mentioned a ‘jyoti’ (flame or lamp) which is worshipped by people of all religions.
Jaipur Police Rubbishes Claims
In addition, a video of Jaipur’s Commissioner Of Police, Anand Kumar Shrivastava was shared by the Jaipur Police on its official Twitter page. In the video, Shrivastava can be heard saying that some people are spreading misleading and false information about Lakshmi Narayan temple on social media and that there had been no change or construction in the structure or premises of the temple. He added that the prayers and other rituals are being performed as per practice and there has been no change of any sort.
Shrivastava said that the claim about changes being made by people from ‘other religion’ in the temple is false. He also mentioned a ‘Jyoti’ where people from different religions pay a visit and added that strict legal action will be taken against people spreading misinformation.
Case Filed Against 9 People For Spreading Misinformation
Additional DCP Suman Choudhary told Patrika that a case has been registered against 9 people, including Bharat Sharma, for making false propaganda videos and claims about Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
The viral claim about the construction of a ‘mazar’ over the Lakshmi Narayan Temple is misleading. The Shiv Temple has not been shut down and the prayers are being offered there regularly.