Attack On Hindu Priest In Vrindavan Peddled With False Communal Claims

BOOM contacted Vrindavan Police who told us that claims of Bangladeshis being involved in the attack on a temple priest were false.

Viral social media posts claiming two Bangladeshis brutally assaulted a temple priest in Uttar Pradesh's Vrindavan city in Mathura district, are false as local police confirmed to BOOM that the attack was a result of an internal dispute.

Facebook and Twitter posts featuring disturbing images showing a Hindu priest sitting on the floor against a wall with injuries to his face and head, went viral on Tuesday with misleading claims.

The misleading posts allege that two of the assailants are Bangladeshis while the remaining accused are 'outsiders' who are absconding. Other Facebook posts falsely allege the attack was carried out by Muslims. The images are graphic in nature, BOOM has chosen not to include the same.

BOOM contacted Vrindavan Police and found out that attack on the priest was a result of an internal dispute. One of the accused is being questioned while others are absconding. None of the accused are Muslims, Sanjeev Kumar, Station House Officer of Vrindavan Police station told BOOM.

Mathura Police also tweeted about the incident from its verified Twitter handle.

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Lawyer IP Patel, who has been called out in the past for tweeting communally charged disinformation, also tweeted the image with a caption that claimed, 'a Vaishnav priest Tamal Krishna Das was brutally attacked by goons at Imlital temple in Vrindavan. It has been reported that two of the assailants are Bangladeshi. How many Bangladeshi and Rohingya infiltrators have been ousted in the last six years?'

The tweet was later deleted.

Fact Check

BOOM contacted Vrindavan Police to find out more about the case.

Sanjeev Kumar, Station House Officer of Vrindavan police station told BOOM that all the social media posts claiming that the attack was a handiwork of Bangladeshi Muslims are fake. Kumar said, "There is no Hindu-Muslim angle here. These are all priests of the same mutt - Imlitala Mutt. All of those involved in the dispute are Vaishnav saints except a security guard who is a local and a Hindu. The disciples of the current president and the ex-president entered into a fight over the opening of a locked room in the mutt."

The SHO said that the reason behind the dispute was the unlocking of a room in the mutt. "After being removed from his position of the trust president four years ago, Tamal Krishna Das started putting up locks in the rooms of the mutt. He did the same - locked a room of the mutt - few days ago. When the guard came to open the door on May 11, Tamal Krishna Das stopped him from doing so. The guard told this to Govinda (another accused), who had asked him to open the door," Kumar told BOOM.

A brawl ensued over this and the priest was punched by one of the accused. Tamal Krishna Das is recovering now, said the SHO.

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No FIR has been lodged by Tamal Krishna Das yet so no arrests have been made but one of the accused - Sachhidanad - has been taken in for interrogation, said the cop.

BOOM also checked Mathura police's Twitter handle and found a tweet rubbishing the fake claims being peddled on social media regarding the attack.

Mathura police had denied any communal angle in the incident.

The message, in Hindi, translates to 'We want to inform you that a fake message is being shared on Twitter and Facebook accounts from the district. The message says: Vrindavan Priest Brutally Attacked: The head priest of Imlital temple in Vrindavan, UP, a Viashnav saint and one Tamra Krishna Das, were brutally attacked and killed by goons. While two of the assailants were Bangladeshis, the others were outsiders. All the accused are absconding. The facts are like this: At 5.30 pm on 11.05.20, there was a dispute between the followers of the current president of the Imlitala Gaudiya Matt - BP Sadhu and the former president of the matt Tamal Das. Followers of BP Sadhu - Govinda, Sachhidanand and a security guard Govind Singh attacked and manhandled Tamaldas over the unlocking of a library (book room). Tamal Das received injuries and had been admitted to the district hospital in Mathura for treatment. The main accused in the incident, Sachhidanand, has been detained by the Vrindavan police and is being questioned. We will take immediate action once an FIR is lodged.'

Claim :   Post claims that a temple priest was brutally attacked by two Bangladeshi Muslims in Vrindavan, Matura
Claimed By :  Social media
Fact Check :  False
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