An old picture showing a monk offering food to Muslim men is viral on social media with misleading captions claiming that the monk had been killed by a Muslim mob in the recent communal violence in Bangladesh.
BOOM found that the viral picture is from 2016 and clicked at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in Mayapur, West Bengal. We spoke to the National director of communications, ISKCON Mayapur who confirmed to us that the man seen in the picture is alive.
Violence had erupted at several places in Bangladesh after an alleged act of blasphemy at a Durga puja pandal in Cumilla around 100 km from Dhaka. According to an Indian Express report published October 18, around 6 people were killed, and several incidents of attacks on places of worship of minority communities by Muslim men had been reported from across Bangladesh in past few days.
In the communal clashes that rocked the country, two Hare Krishna devotees were also killed when a mob vandalised an ISKCON temple in Noakhali district of Bangladesh and attacked the devotees. ISKCON, on its website, mentioned the names of the deceased as Pranta Chandra Das and Jatan Chandra Saha. The website has stated that another devotee, Nimai Das, is in a critical condition.
The picture is viral against this backdrop.
A Facebook user has shared the picture with a Hindi caption which translates to 'This is Swami Nitayi Das prabhu who was killed during an attack on ISKCON temple in Bangladesh. He had organised roza iftar for all 30 days during past Ramzans'.
(Hindi: ये हैं स्वामी निताई दास प्रभु जो बंगलादेश में इस्कॉन के मंदिर पर किये गये हमले में मारे गये. इन्होंने पिछले रमजानों में लगातार तीसों दिन रोजा इफ्तार आयोजित कराया था)
The image has been shared on Twitter with similar caption.
BOOM did a reverse image search on the viral picture and found the same image in a report published on ucannews.com on July 4, 2016.
The caption with the picture reads 'A monk from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness offers sweetmeats to Muslims during Iftar at the Hindu group's temple in Mayapur on 22 June. (Photo by Raghu Nath)'.
According to the report, an iftar was held for the people from Muslim community at the ISKCON Mayapur (West Bengal) in 2016. The Muslim men had also offered the evening prayers inside the temple complex after ending their ramzan fast.
Taking cue from the reports, BOOM contacted ISKCON Mayapur. Speaking to us, ISKCON National director of communications Yudhisthir Govind Das confirmed that the picture is from ISKCON Mayapur (West Bengal).
"I was present in the iftar organised on the ISKCON Mayapur complex in 2016. The man seen in the picture is Ivan Antić, a native of Pula in Croatia. Ivan's deeksha name is Nitayi Das," Das told BOOM.
Yudhisthir Govind Das said that Ivan had returned to Croatia before the Coronavirus pandemic. However, he is safe and alive, Das added.
BOOM has reached out to ISKCON temple in Pula, Croatia and Ivan Antić and the report will be updated when we hear from them.
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