A photo of a derogatory painting from 2015 showing Hindu deity Krishna along with women in bikinis as 'Gopis', was revived online on Monday and passed off as a recent incident demanding the arrest of the artist who had been arrested by the Assam Police over five years ago.
A photo of the painting is going viral online in the backdrop of a sectarian riot in Bengaluru on August 11, 2020 by local Muslims over a Facebook post deemed derogatory to the Prophet Mohammed.
The painting of Krishna was created by Assam based artist Akram Hussain and was exhibited at the State Art Gallery in Assam in April 2015. Hussain was later arrested by Assam Police in May 2015 after complaints were lodged accusing him of depicting Lord Krishna in a manner that was deemed offensive.
An image of the painting was shared on Twitter by Arun Pudur asking for the arrest of the artist with the caption, "Akram Hussain, an Assam based Muslim 'Artist' depicts Lord Krishna with Bikini Girls & this piece has been displayed in Gawhati Art Gallery. #BangaloreRiots for a FB comment. Praveen who expressed his FOE was arrested for hurting sentiments Will Akram be arrested for this?"
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), quote tweeted Pudur tweet demanding action against Hussain for the painting tagging the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam Education Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.
However, after Assam Police tweeted that the incident was from 2015, ISKCON tweeted a clarification.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar had also quote tweeted the viral painting. BOOM has earlier fact-checked Kishwar for sharing misinformation.
Hindi Newspaper Amar Ujala reported on ISKCON demanding action the artist for the painting, however, no where mentioned that the incident is from 2015.
The Guwahati Police clarified that the incident is from 2015, and a case was registered against the accused Akram Hussain who was arrested on May 30, 2015. It further stated that the painting was seized and that it is not on display.
Pls refer to info shared by concerned citizens regarding an objectionable painting of Lord Shri Krishna. This incident is of 2015. Accordingly, Latasil PS Case No. 127/15 was registered, accused Akram Hussain arrested on 30/5/2015 & painting seized. It is not on display now.— Guwahati Police (@GuwahatiPol) August 17, 2020
"This matter is from 2015, the accused was arrested then. The matter is now in the court," Guwahati Police Commissioner MP Gupta told BOOM.
Assam Education Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma also tweeted on incident replying to ISKCON saying that the issue was resolved long back and no such picture on display anymore.
We have resolved this issue long back. Now no such picture is there in Art Gallery. https://t.co/nmnJgjBbCc— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 17, 2020
On performing a simple Google search with the keywords, 'Akram Hussain', 'Assam' and 'painting', we found an Indian Express report from April 14, 2015, on the incident stating that an FIR had been lodged against Assam artist Akram Hussain.
It further stated that the Hindu Jagran Manch had lodged complaints with the police accusing him of depicting Lord Krishna in a derogatory manner in one of his paintings exhibited at the State Art Gallery.
"Yes, we have registered a case on the basis of an FIR lodged by the Hindu Jagaran Mancha on Friday in which the organisation has complained that the artist, one Akram Hussain, had depicted Krishna in an offensive manner," Guwahati Police DCP Amitabh Sinha had told The Indian Express then.
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