Old Kumbh Mela Clip Viral as Maharashtra Sadhus Protesting Palghar
The claim is being made in the context of the Palghar lynching in Maharashtra on 17 April.
A video of a large procession of ascetics walking down a road is being shared widely with the claim that it is from Maharashtra and that the state government was terrified by this sight, with the implication that these religious men are protesting about the Palghar lynching incident.
The claim reads thus: “महाराष्ट्र सरकार यह तूफान रोक पाएगी महाराष्ट्र सरकार के रोंगटे खड़े हो गए यह देख कर” (Translation: Will the Maharashtra government be able to stop this storm? The Maharashtra government’s hairs are standing on seeing this.)
Another of the same videos on Facebook expanded on the claim, stating that these people were demanding that those who had killed the saints be hanged. “संतो के हत्यारों को फाँसी हो फाँसी हो”, the claim adds.
The claim is being made in the context of the Palghar lynching, where three men from Mumbai, on their way to Surat to attend a funeral on Friday, 17 April, were dragged out of a car and beaten to death by villagers in Palghar district of Maharashtra on suspicion of theft. Two of these men were sadhus.
The video is being shared with the insinuation that this gathering of ascetics is being held to protest the lynching of the sadhus, despite the lockdown in place.
A huge number of people shared the video on Facebook with this claim.
The video was also viral on Twitter, with the claim that these sadhus have taken to the roads now to demand death for the perpetrators.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim with the video is false. The video is actually an old one, from Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela and dates back to March 2019. It has no relation to the Palghar lynching, and is from a time long before the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown in India.
WHAT WE FOUND
On breaking down the video into various keyframes and reverse-searching those frames on Yandex, we came across the same video uploaded earlier.
The video below, uploaded to YouTube on 19 April 2019 claimed that the video was of Naga sadhus at the 2019 Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
The video below, dated to 5 March 2019 also claimed that the video was from the Kumbh Mela.
The Pragayraj Kumbh Mela last year was held from 15 January to 4 March 2019.
The Quint also got in touch with a local journalist who confirmed that the video has no connection whatsoever with the Palghar incident in Maharashtra and is indeed from the Kumbh Mela held earlier in 2019.
We had earlier debunked the same video which had gone viral earlier in 2020 with the claim that it shows a peaceful pro-CAA demonstration in Haridwar.
You can read all our fact-checked stories here.
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