“This is how police in India is controlled by Christian missionaries. Christian goons attacked foreign iskon devotees who are singing & distributing gita. secular parties will not condemn the raavan police gang.👇 suppose imagine if this happens to a minority religion.?” A video is viral on social media with the aforementioned message. The same video has been uploaded on YouTube and can be seen below.
The video is being circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp and has been shared multiple times as can be seen in the video below. In these videos, the tussle seems to be between the police and the devotees in saffron robes.
To fact-check this, Alt News ran a simple Google Search and came across an article in a Goan news outlet heraldgoa.in dated 26 November 2008. The featured image of the article in heraldgoa.in has the same individual and police officer as can been in the video above.
However, the contents of the article on heraldgoa.in website were truncated, probably because the article is old and their website might have undergone changes in the past 10 years resulting in some of the old articles not being accessible anymore. We found the text of the same article in a 2013 Reddit thread. On this Reddit thread, the same video circulating in 2013 in a similar context had been debunked. The text of the news item states:
“Eight Russians arrested for clash with police.
Religious chants by a group of Russian members of the Hare Ram Hare Krishna sect near the Mapusa police station took a violent turn on Tuesday, when the Russians clashed with the police and ended up getting assaulted by the public. Two policemen were injured in the clashes and the eight Russians have been arrested on charges of rioting and assaulting cops.
According to Mapusa police, a group of Russians dressed in saffron attire were seen marching along the main streets of Mapusa chanting Hare Ram, Hare Krishna, equipped with dholak (drum) and a harmonium.
Irritated by the singing and consequent traffic congestion that resulted along the main road opposite municipal market, some citizens informed the police about the nuisance.
A police team led by PSI Tulshidas Dhavaskar and Head Constable Ramesh Kalangutkar rushed to the site and requested the revelers to stop their activity.
However, the revelers paid little heed to the police and continued with their activity. Finding himself on the defensive, PSI Dhavaskar requisitioned additional police force, following which about four constables were rushed to take stock of the situation.
The police team stopped the march at the taxi stand and asked the group to come to the police station. As the policemen were trying to take the members of the group to the police station, the group members allegedly began assaulting the cops. Police Constables Sushant Chopdekar and Prabhakar Porob sustained injuries in the scuffle.
On noticing the cops being at the receiving end of the group, general public intervened and thrashed the foreigners before handing them over to the police.
While police managed to arrest eight members of the group, others fled away from the site. Those arrested include Egoloboi Bable, Eugene Cathrina, Ekolo Valanko, Alexander Valanko, Costancio Roma, Terence Tubo, Gory Gorbelo and Andre Adito. All the eight accused have been booked under Sections 143, 145, 147 149 and 353 IPC. PSI Tulshidas Dhavaskar is investigating the case.”
As per the text of the above article, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of members of Christian community targeting Krishna devotees and seems more like a clash between the police and the Russian Krishna devotees. Moreover, this incident happened in 2008 and the video doesn’t represent any current event.
This practice of digging out old videos and images and passing them off as representative of recent events is a strategy that has been repeatedly adopted by fake news peddlers. Please be careful about sharing such posts on social media which seek to divide the society along religious lines.
(This story was first published on AltNews and has been republished with permission.)
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