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HomeFact CheckOld Photo Of Durga Puja Ritual In Assam Temple Falsely Linked To...

Old Photo Of Durga Puja Ritual In Assam Temple Falsely Linked To Ratlam Temple Desecration

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Hindu priest carrying the severed head of a cow thrown by Muslims in the premises of a temple in Madhya Pradesh.

Fact
Viral image dates back to September 2017, shows a Durga Puja ritual in a temple in Assam, where a buffalo is sacrificed as part of an age-old tradition.

Several social media users are circulating an image, purportedly showing a Hindu priest carrying a severed bovine head, linking it to the recent case in Madhya Pradesh where four people were accused of slaughtering a cow and throwing its body parts in the premises of a temple in Ratlam district’s Jaora town, inflaming communal tensions in the area. “That chopped head of cow was thrown by 2 Muslim guys in a temple, Pujari ji had to do this to maintain the sanctity of temple…,” read the claims.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

NSA Slapped Against The 4 Accused

The stringent National Security Act was invoked against four persons accused of throwing the severed head of a cow, while illegal portions of the houses of the accused were pulled down by the local administration. The Superintendent of Police Rajesh Khakha identified the four accused as Salman Mevati (24), Shakir Qureshi (19) Noshad Qureshi (40) and Shahrukh Sattar (25).

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a reverse image search of the photo, which led us to the same photo on Getty Images’ website, dated September 29, 2017.

“A sacrificed buffalo head carried by a man on the head at Billeshwar Dewalaya Temple of Hindu goddess Durga on the occasion of Navami Durga Puja Festival at Belsor on the outskirts of Guwahati, in Assam, India,” read the caption of the photo.

A relevant keyword search led us to multiple news reports over the years on the animal sacrifice ritual, seen here, here, here and here, which further confirms the viral image is not related to the recent incident in Ratlam.

“The Billeswar Devalaya, where nearly 50 buffaloes would be sacrificed every Duga Puja, will witness only one buffalo sacrifice this year. Other revered temples and Shakti peethas will also see a drastic fall in animal sacrifices to prevent spread of the virus,” read a Times of India report, dated September 30, 2020, on how that year’s Durga Puja saw fewer animal sacrifices to avoid crowding amid the Covid pandemic.

Also Read: Viral Video Showing Eid Celebrations In West Bengal Is Actually From Bangladesh

Conclusion

A 2017 image of a buffalo sacrifice in Assam, on the occasion of Durga Puja, falsely linked to the Madhya Pradesh case where four people were accused of slaughtering a cow and throwing its body parts in the premises of a temple.

Result: False

Source
Getty Images, September 29, 2017


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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