Amid India’s second COVID-19 wave a video with a presenter claims that many Indians have thrown idols of Gods they worship on the streets since they’ve lost faith.
The 58-second video led by a presenter shows keyframes where idols of Gods are being bulldozed away on a street as well tipped off a truck and into a river. “Hindus have started destroying their idols, saying if their Gods cannot protect them, what good are they,” says the presenter.
Within the first 10-seconds of the video a news runner reads, “Idols thrown on the street. Large number of Indians have thrown idols of Gods they worshipped on the streets.” In the top-right corner of the screen the words “Imam Hussein” can be seen, while the bottom-left corner reads, “Shia Waves: Shia World News.”
Newschecker received the video in context on its Whatsapp tip line (9999499044) for verification.
The video was also shared on Facebook with the claim, “Idols thrown on the street of India because they couldn’t save them from Coronavirus.”
Other Facebook users shared this claim as well.
Fact Check / Verification
The clip on a bulldozer removing idols from a road was “filmed on the banks of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad, where locals left the idols on the pavement in an effort to not dirty the water body,” reported Alt News.
On 11 August 2019, the then Ahmedabad Municipal Commissar, Vijay Nehra, tweeted, “Something amazing is happening in #Ahmedabad today. Ordinary citizens have decided to keep #Sabarmati river clean. Instead of immersing Dashama idols in the river, they have respectfully left them on the banks!! Thousands and Thousands of them. Unbelievable change”
The Hindu reported on the same.
The clip with a bulldozer (as seen in Shia Waves video in the claim) was shared by a Twitter user in response to Mr Nehra’s tweet on the same day.
Please note we were unable to independently verify the viral clip. But as per links provided above the video clips have been online since at least 2019.
With regards to the other clip showing Ganesh idols being tossed into the river, we found a DNA report titled, “Video shows huge Ganesh idols being tossed into a river.” It includes a video posted by a Facebook user in September 2015 with a caption when translated to English reads, “It is located on the Krishna River Bridge in the Telangana State of NH 44 Mehboob Nagar District Telangana police are dismantling Ganpati”.
Telangana state police chief, Rema Rajeshwari, confirmed to AFP that the video was taken in Beechupally, located on the banks of Krishna river.
ShiaWaves.com published an article which reads like the text version of the video claim. We could not find the viral video on the website or on any of their social media accounts. The website Shiawaves.com is owned by Imam Hussein Media Group, which also owns Imam Hussein TV and the television station Shia Waves.
Viral video with a presenter claiming that many Indians have thrown idols of Gods they worship on the streets due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is misleading. The claim’s video includes clips from two different videos posted online before the COVID-19 pandemic.
2019 Twitter post: https://twitter.com/sagarsavaliya05/status/1160591252712067072?s=20
2015 Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/100000933241009/videos/1155921721115592/
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