A photo of a green coloured cloth hanging inside a temple and Islamic holy number '786' written on it has been shared on social media falsely claiming that the Waqf board has claimed the property of the Maa Chandi Devi temple present in Gunderdehi, Chhattisgarh.
BOOM found that the claim to be false. We spoke to former MLA and a patron of the temple's committee Rajendra Kumar Rai who confirmed us that the Waqf Board has never claimed the temple property, nor any dispute has happened between the two communities over the temple.
The picture is being shared with a Hindi caption that translates to, "Maa Chandi Devi Temple, Gunderdehi, Chhattisgarh. The Waqf Board has claimed that it is their property. What is this all happening Chief Minister Shri Mr. Bhupesh Baghel ji. Please stop all these."
(Original Text in Hindi: मां चंडी देवी मंदिर, गुंडरदेही छत्तीसगढ़ | वक्फ बोर्ड ने दावा किया है कि यह उनकी संपत्ति हैं | ये सब क्या हो रहा है मुख्यमंत्री श्री Bhupesh Baghel जी इन सबको बंद कीजिए |)
Click here to view the tweet.
The photo is doing rounds on Facebook with a similar communal claim.
Click here to view the post.
Taking a cue from caption, BOOM performed a related keyword search to verify the viral claim and found a ETV Bharat report about the temple published on February 07, 2023.
The report included statements from both the communities Hindu and Muslim, who refuted the communal claim.
The article states that Gunderdehi's Maa Chandi Devi temple is an example of unity and integrity. Hindus and Muslims, both, worship in the 100-years-old temple present in Chhattisgarh's Balod district. Chandi Devi, along with the presence of the Syed Baba's holy green coloured '786' flag, is worshipped in the temple.
The report quoted the local people as saying that the Maa Chandi idol of the temple and the holy moon of the Muslim community had also come out of the same local Ramsagar pond. Local king Thakur Nihal Singh, for this reason, had installed the '786' sacred sheet of Syed Baba Saheb after the establishment of Maa Chandi in the temple.
The article also included the statement of Rajendra Kumar Rai, a member of the royal family and former MLA of Gunderdehi. According to Rajendra Rai, till date, there has not been any situation of conflict between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the temple and everyone worships together here.
An Amar Ujala report from February 7, 2023, also included statements of former MLA Rajendra Kumar Rai and local people, who refuted the viral claim.
We also contacted ex-MLA and the temple patron Rajendra Kumar Rai for further verification.
Rai told BOOM, “This temple was built by my forefathers. According to old beliefs, the sacred moon of the Muslim community was found in the local Ramsagar pond. The Muslims asked the then king and my grandfather Nihal Singh to keep the moon. The moon in a box was kept inside the temple then covering it with a green cloth. Since then, people from both the communities offer prayers here.
He also denied the viral claim and said, "Neither the Waqf Board has staked any claim on the temple, nor has there been any quarrel between the Hindu and Muslim community over this in the past".
Furthermore, we contacted the priest of the temple, Khorbahara Ram Kanwar, who also denied the viral claim and said, "No one has ever claimed the temple, nor has there ever been a fight between the two communities over the temple".
The priest also mentioned that before opening the doors of the temple, he uses frankincense for Syed Baba and then worships the goddess.
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