A collage of three images of Tamil Nadu-based Christian priest Jegath Gaspar Raj is viral with false claims that he was spotted at the farmers' agitation, where he disguised himself as a protesting farmer.
The collage shows three shots of Fr Jegath Gaspar Raj - two where he addresses religious gatherings and a third image where he interacts with the media. The three images are viral together with a narrative that states that Fr Gaspar conveniently changed his religious identity to join the farmers' protest for money..
Father Jegath Gaspar Raj is the founder of Tamil Maiyam, a non-profit organisation, and is a regular speaker at inter-religious forums.
The images are viral on Facebook and Twitter with captions in English, Hindi and Kannada, which take a dig at him for disguising himself as a farmer in exchange of money from the Congress party.
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Click here for an archive of a tweet.
The Kannada caption translates to: This guy seems like he's going to leave behind Yogendra Yadav. His name is Jegath Gaspar Raj. He turned into a sadhu under the command of the Congress and now during the farmers' protest, he's become a farmer. Please clap. (Original text: ಇಂವ ತನ್ನ ಮಾವ ಯೋಗೇಂದ್ರ ಯಾದವನನ್ನ ಸೈಡ್ ಹೊಡಿಯು ಹಂಗ್ ಕಾಣ್ತಾನ್ ನೊಡ್ರಿಪಾ ಆಂದಂಗ್ ಇವನ್ ಹೆಸರ Jegath Gaspar Raj ಚರ್ಚನ್ಯಾಗ ಇದ್ದಾಗ ಮತಾಂತರ ಮಾಡೋದೂ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷ ಹೇಳಿದಮ್ಯಾಲ ಸಾಧು ಸಂತ ಆಗೋದು ರೈತ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆ ಬಂದಿರೋ ಕಾರಣ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಒತ್ತಾಯದ ಮೇರೆಗೆ ರೈತ ಆಗ್ಯಾನ್ . ಹೊಡಿರೋ ಚಪ್ಪಾಳೆ )
BOOM also received the same collage on its helpline and tipline numbers for verification.
BOOM cropped each of the three images and ran a reverse image search on all of them.
The first image is from a 2018 religious broadcast by Arputhar Yesu TV. The video was uploaded with the title "Laborer's day Christian Tamil Sermon Father Jegath Kasper Speech on Workers Day 30-04-2018."
The second image led us to a YouTube video uploaded by Arra TV in 2017.
A Ganesha statue can be seen at the background. BOOM reached out to Fr Gaspar who said, "I was addressing an independent satsang in Salem, Tamil Nadu, when this video was recorded. It is a very prestigious event, where I have spoken on inter-religious harmony thrice. The Ganesha statue has been there when other speakers were on the dias as well."
Fr Gaspar further added, "I promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding. My father was a Hindu and my mother a Christian. Since I speak about tolerance in religious I am invited in all forums as a speaker."
In the third image, Fr Gaspar can be seen addressing news agency ANI.
Upon running a reverse image search, we found a video uploaded by The Times of India, in April, 2018. According to the description, the Tamil Maiya Organisatios staged protests after two pastors were manhandled by some miscreants inside a temple in Kanyakumari. Fr Gaspar, member of Tamil Maiya Organisation blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Hindu outfits affiliated with the RSS for the incident.
Claim : Video shows Father Jageth Gaspar Raj participating the farmers protest in disguise
Claimed By : Facebook and Twitter users
Fact Check : False