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Opposition From Christian Community Lead To A Feud About Bharat Mata Statue In Kanyakumari

A Bharat Mata statue situated on the premises of the age-old Issaki Amman temple came under feud due to communal differences.

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Claim 

A tweet claiming that a Bharat Mata murthy tied with ropes because of opposition from Christian missionaries was re-unveiled due to tireless efforts of the Hindu society in Kanyakumari. 

We also received a related image on our Whatsapp verification helpline number claiming that Christians in the community had a problem with Bharat Mata and the statue being covered is a dangerous sign. 

We found this being shared and discussed on Facebook and Twitter

Factcheck

Through a keyword search, we came across a Goa Chronicle news article that reported this incident which took place in Tamil Nadu. The report published early this week, states that the Bharat Mata statue situated on the premises of the age-old Issaki Amman temple came under feud due to communal differences. 

The same news report also stated that the owner of the temple, T Muthukumar, filed a petition to the district commissioner explaining, “The statue was on our Patta land without affecting public peace or law and order. It did not create any communal clashes. My ancestors built the temple, and we have been maintaining the same for generations.” 

The feud concerning the statute arose because people from the Christian community in the village opposed having the statue in the said premise and pushed local authorities to have it removed, as per a recent Times of India report. 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bharat-mata-statue-case-tarun-vijay-kj-alphons-write-to-tamil-nadu-cm-seek-his-intervention/articleshow/75922865.cms

The TOI article further states that in response to this, BJP leaders Tarun Vijay and KJ Alphons asked for Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami to intervene in this issue. The news report includes an excerpt from the letter sent to the Chief Minister by the two BJP leaders. The excerpt reads, “Bharat Mata is an icon of faith and our devotion to India, which has inspired millions of revolutionaries during the freedom struggle.” 

We found this incident reported by Times Now on their Youtube channel on 29 May, which describes that the Bharat Mata statue will be uncovered. But Christian groups have again opposed this saying it’s against the interest of minorities. 

A Facebook verified page, The Nation, posted a report on the same subject. 

Smitha Menon, who claims to be the BJP Mahila Morcha State Secretary in Kerala retweeted a post by The Tamil Nadu Chronicle on this topic. 

A point of difference to note between these news reports is about the covering or removal of the statue. The Chronicle states that the Deputy Superintendent of Police asked his officers to cover the statue. Times of India on the other hand writes that a daily wager was asked to remove the statue by the local police. 

Another point to note: While the Goa Chronicle described Muthukumar as the temple’s owner, Times of India described him as a daily wage earner who had put the statue near a temple in Kanyakumari. 

Conclusion 

It’s clear that there was a feud about Bharat Mata’s statue in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu because of opposition from members of the Christian community in the village. Videos shared on social media show people worshipping the statue. Whether it was tied with ropes and later uncovered remains unclear. 

We will update this story if we come across any new information about the incident. 

Tools Used

  • Google reverse image search
  • Youtube 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter advanced search 

Result: Partly True 

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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2016 Video Of A Siren Shared With Misleading Claims Related To Ongoing India-China Dispute In Ladakh

The video in context was posted on Youtube in 2016 with the description, “The largest air-raid siren in the world.”

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2016 video of a defender siren shared with misleading claims

A Twitter user claimed that the Chinese army used a loudspeaker at the Indian military camp in Ladakh causing vomiting and injury to the ear drums of Indian soldiers. The tweet is accompanied by a 30-second video which shows a rotating siren with blaring sound. 

Posted from the Twitter handle @ichinaTV on 24 September, the tweet reads, “#china #India The Chinese army uses this super loud speaker to play music at the Indian military camp in Ladakh! A large number of Indian soldiers’ eardrums were injured and vomiting”

The same user retweeted the above tweet on 28 September writing, “Because China and India have signed an agreement to prohibit the use of guns within two kilometers of LAC! Therefore, China has developed this sonic weapon. The video is only a low-power display, and the actual volume and audio are more intense!”

Fact Check/ Verification 

Through a reverse image search on InVid, a video verification tool, we came across a Youtube video titled, “LIONKING Defender Siren” posted in March, 2016. 

InVid search result of "Lion King Defender Siren"
InVid search result of “Lion King Defender Siren”

The video was published by an account named Elsa Chen and has over 47 lakh views till date. It’s description reads, “The largest air-raid siren in the world. Produced by Taizhou LionKing Signal Co.,Ltd. websites: http://www.lionking-firerescue.com. Email: elsa@lionking-firerescue.com

The link in the video’s description led us to a website named Lion King. According to the website, “Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd. is a professional company specialized in making various sirens, rescue air cushions, PPV blowers,Smoke Ejectors and Line throwers.”

Listed in the products section of the website, a product called “Defender Siren” looked similar to the one from the claim. 

Defender Siren, a product by Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd.
Defender Siren, a product by Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd.

The video from the claim was shared by another user in September, 2017 though with a different audio in the background. 

The claim in context was shared days after Chinese troops played Punjabi songs at their forward posts in Ladakh amid the ongoing territorial dispute. At the time, the Indian soldiers were known to be at Finger 4, a height overlooking the positions of the Peoples Liberation Army. 

On 17 September, Hindustan Times reported that “according to a former Indian Army chief, the PLA used the same loudspeaker tactics in 1962 skirmishes in the western and eastern sectors as well during the 1967 Nathu La skirmish.” 

You can read our Hindi fact check on this claim here

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that the Chinese army did not use a loudspeaker at the Indian military camp in Ladakh recently. The video in the claim is from 2016 and shows a product called Defender Siren.

Result: Misleading

Our Sources

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrSSArQoFWc

Lion King-FireRescue website: http://www.lionking-firerescue.com/


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Fact check

Anarchy For Freedom: A Case Study On First Indian Mainstream Conspiracy Theory

If you have access to the internet, you would have already come across several conspiracy theories around the coronavirus. What if these conspiracy theories go mainstream? In Mumbai, pamphlets with an example of one such theory were inserted in newspapers and distributed in the city.

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Anarchy for Freedom India

If you have access to the internet, you would have already come across several conspiracy theories around the coronavirus. What if these conspiracy theories go mainstream? In Mumbai, pamphlets with an example of one such theory were inserted in newspapers and distributed in the city. 

Where did the Pamphlet come from?

On the pamphlet uploaded with the above tweet, we noticed a website mentioned in the bottom right corner. 

Viral image

On visiting the website mentioned above (anarchyforfreedom.com) we found the same pamphlet published here. 

Viral Pamphlet

What is “Anarchy for Freedom” and who is its founder?

The landing page of the website reads, “WELCOME TO INDIA’S HOME FOR CONSPIRACY RESEARCH & FREE THINKING.” It also includes a section which lists problems categorised under COVID-19, Politics, and Science among others. Adjacent to this, another section on solutions is also listed. The pamphlet in context was found under Problems >> COVID19. 

Anarchy for Freedom Website

This website has been known to proactively spread coronavirus-related misinformation. Many of the hoaxes listed have been debunked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Newschecker.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

We noticed that the website is provoking its visitors against the use of masks. The conspiracy against the use of masks during the ongoing pandemic has been debunked by the WHO.

More such conspiracy theories and interviews can be found on Anarchy for Freedom’s official Facebook page, Twitter handle, YouTube channel, and their Instagram account.

To know more about how the website  functions, we checked its details on Who.is. According to details registered here, the website registrant’s name is “Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot” and the email address is “anarchyforfreedom.com@superprivacyservice.com

Who.is data

When we searched the registrant’s details on Google, we found that it is a registered company which provides secure domains to its clients. 

Who.is data

Note that details of the domains which are secured by third-party service providers are not revealed by Who.is. We checked contact details of the website and found an email ID that reads “yohan@anarchyforfreedom.in”. We did a Google search of the email address and found multiple articles on various portals which indicate that the website is run by a person named Yohan Tengra.

Google Search Results

Who is Yohan Tengra?

During our search, we came across a blog by Tengra’s mother Nainaz Tengra on steemit.com. In her blog, she introduces him to the platform. Talking about her son’s work she writes: 

“He is into Radical Journalism, talking and exposing the classified information of the Big Organizations, Bodies, Governments, Health and Pharma, Child Trafficking and Abuse, The Vaccination system and a lot more. If you want to know what’s actually happening in the world as compared to what’s portrayed to us by our governments or media, rather paid media and as individuals how our minds have been conditioned into a grind wherein we’re constantly ignorant to a lot that’s happening around us you can follow his website which gives a clear clarity along with supporting videos and interviews.”

NainaTengraz's blog on Steemit

As per Tengra’s mother’s description, he exposes various governments, corporate companies, and others. Through a Google search of his name, we found his profile on various social media platforms. Additionally on his YouTube channel, it said that he attended Saint Mary’s school from 2011-2012. 

We also checked Tengra’s LinkedIn profile, which says that he graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (BAF) from Kishinchand Chellaram College of Arts and Commerce, Mumbai in 2017. 

Yohan Tengra's LinkedIn Profile

His Twitter account shows that he is passionate about Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and has worked as a DJ for several organisations. The same can be found here. Through a Twitter Advanced Search, we found that Tengra performed as a DJ for FullStopEnt in 2015.

Further, Tengra has been associated with The Music Essentials since 2015 and has been writing about music fests for them.

https://themusicessentials.com/artists/review-ultra-resistance-around-the-world-with-nic-fanciuilli/

Interestingly, we also found that Tengra has met with several conspiracy theory believers and alleged ‘free thinkers’ such as David Icke.

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10218322981879143&set=p.10218322981879143

In a video published by Anarchy For Freedom’s official YouTube channel, Tengra has briefly described his work on hidden knowledge, source of knowledge, his contacts, his reasons for believing in these conspiracies, his ideals and so on. He also mentioned his reason for founding Anarchy for Freedom.

Anarchy For Freedom Or Conspiracy Theories? Partners In Crime

On going through videos published on the YouTube channels, we found a series of interviews, podcasts, and discussions where alleged “experts” expressed their views on conspiracy theories propagated by Anarchy for Freedom and others alike. These alleged “experts” are Derrick Broze, Dr Madhusudan Raj, Judith Kwoba, Mark Friesen, Virendra Singh, Jagannath Chatterjee, Ashok Patel and Dr Tarun Kothari.

We further looked for more information on other people associated with this organisation. Twitter users: Vivek, Indian Liberty Report, Delta Exchange – Bitcoin & Altcoin Derivatives, Activist Post, Madhusudan Raj, and Rusty, among others were promoting and interviewing Yohan Tengra of Anarchy for Freedom

We also found that Tengra has been interviewed by several portals and vloggers. A few of them can be read below.

https://altnews.org/2020/09/24/the-truth-about-covid19-censorship-and-lockdowns-in-india-september-2020/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=yohan+tengra

Yohan Tengra: Fresh Destructive Ideas

Tengra’s Twitter account reflects that he has been actively campaigning for various causes such as #BoycottZomato, #FreeRoss, #IStandWithDrBob #LetOrganicGrow #LegaliseBitcoins #saveGaza #AadharSpies and AntiFa. For example, Tengra posted multiple tweets aiming to boycott Zomato.

Apart from this, other tweets by Tengra imply his interest in conspiracy theories, bitcoins, social causes, among other subjects. 

Twitter Deletes Posts After Being Notified By Newschecker

On coming across tweets which included the pamphlets in context, we wrote to Twitter about deleting the same to prevent further circulation of this conspiracy theory. Twitter immediately deleted them.

Archived version of the deleted tweets can be viewed here: https://archive.vn/EO1BD

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Coronavirus

Claim On Pune’s Steam Bar Treating or Preventing COVID-19 Is False

Steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation.

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False claim on Pune's steam bar treating or preventing COVID-19

A social media user claims that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune. The claim is accompanied by a video which shows people seated in front of pipes used as steam inhalers. 

“Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune” the tweet reads. 

Other social media users have shared this claim as well. 

Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune: #corona #Covid19 #fightwithcorona

Posted by LIVE Ahmedabad on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

लो कल्लो बात 😎Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune:

Posted by Sanjieva Shankhdhar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fact Check/ Verification

Different states in India continue to witness a rise in COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, the epicentre of coronavirus in India has 2,75,404 active cases as of 8am on 25 September. It’s followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which have 95,568, 69,353 and 61,300 active cases respectively. 

At a time like this, the claim on Pune’s steam bar with inhalers has been shared by many social media users in the past few days. 

Steam inhalation can thin mucus and help it drain from the nose when experiencing  nasal congestion. “Controlled studies show that these remedies do not kill viruses in the respiratory tract. Besides, there are no studies testing the effect of these remedies on preventing infection by the novel coronavirus,” state the voluntary group of scientists, Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19, in their Hoaxbusters section. 

The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment.
The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment

On the other hand, a 2015 study published by the Spanish Pediatrics Association takes note of the burns or scalds that can be caused due to hot water or steam. “Steam inhalation therapy (SIT), which has been used traditionally and is still employed today to treat mild respiratory tract infections despite the lack of evidence to support its effectiveness, can also cause burns indirectly through scalding.”

Also steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation

“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” notes the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 

On 23 September, Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus, responded to the initial claim saying, “ Let’s not turn fear into business. This is completely useless.”

Note: We were unable to locate the exact steam bar from the claim. 

In the last six months, we’ve also debunked many other claims related to cure and prevention of coronavirus. You can read related fact checks here

Conclusion 

The recent claim which states that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune is false. Currently, there is no known medicine or treatment that can cure COVID-19. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19: https://indscicov.in/for-public/busting-hoaxes/

A study by Spanish Pediatrics Association: https://www.analesdepediatria.org/en-severe-burns-related-steam-inhalation-articulo-S2341287914001343

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public\

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus: https://twitter.com/FaheemYounus/status/1308820077324701696?s=20

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/how-do-i-use-steam-for-congestion


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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