(The article was originally published in Newschecker Hindi)
A video showing a man kicking a portrait of Hindu Goddess Saraswati placed on a table inside what appears to be a classroom, is going viral on social media platforms. Several social media users shared the video with a communal twist, claiming that the man seen in the viral clip belongs to the Muslim community. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several Twitter users shared the video calling for strict action against the man for disrespecting the Hindu Goddess. The tweets however do not mention where this incident took place.
Archived versions of such tweets can be found here, here and here.
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A Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a video report by ABP Asmita, dated December 31, 2022. Carrying snippets from the viral clip, the report stated that an inebriated teacher kicked Goddess Saraswati’s portrait in Gujarat’s tribal dominated district Chhotaudepur.
We also came across a video report by Gujarati website Sandesh, dated December 31, 2022 on the same incident. The report elaborates that a teacher, identified as Yogesh Rathwa, kicked the portrait of Goddess Saraswati after getting drunk, at the Gelesar Primary School in Chhotaudepur’s Kawant Taluka. Reportedly, a case was filed against the man following a complaint by the school’s principal.
News18 Gujarati also reported on the same.
Newschecker also reached out to the SP of Chhotaudepur, MS Bhabor who clarified that there was no communal angle to the incident. “This incident happened a few days back. There is no communal angle to it. The person seen in the video is Yogesh Rathwa, who is in the teaching profession at a private school. He had come here to attend a function and in a drunken state kicked the portrait of the goddess. A case has been filed in this regard and the man has been arrested,” Bhabhor told us.
Gujarat is a dry state as it has had a prohibition policy since it was carved out of Maharashtra in 1960. However, there are regular reports of violations of this ban like this one on new years last week and hooch tragedy’s like this.
Viral posts claiming to show a Muslim man kicking the portrait of Goddess Saraswati are misleading. As clarified by the police, there is no communal angle to the incident.
Report By ABP Asmita, Dated December 31, 2022
Report By Sandesh, Dated December 31, 2022
Telephonic Conversation With Chhotaudepur SP MS Bhabor On January 5, 2023
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