An unfortunate incident of a mentally challenged man vandalising a statue of Swami Vivekananda in Bhadoi district of Uttar Pradesh provided the perfect opportunity to the ultra right on social media to pin blame on local Muslims.
BOOM got in touch with additional SP of Bhadohi, Sanjay Kumar who rubbished claims linking the incident, which took place on October 26, to local Muslims. Kumar said that the accused was mentally challenged.
The official Twitter account of Bhadohi police tweeted that Kotwali police had arrested a man named Premchandra Gautam.
घटना की सूचना मिलते ही कोतवाली पुलिस की कार्यवाही मुकदमा पंजिकृत करते हुए अभियुक्त की गिरफ्तार की गयी। pic.twitter.com/dRomKYE6ow
— BHADOHI POLICE (@bhadohipolice) October 29, 2017
But rabble rousing handle ShankhNaad, a serial offender when it comes to sharing fake and communally sensitive posts, said the statue was ‘beheaded’ allegedly by Muslims in Bhadohi.
— ShankhNaad (@ShankhNaad) October 28, 2017
Post by other conservative Twitter users had sarcastic and derogatory references to the Muslim community.
Many also accused the mainstream media of not reporting it.
The websites reported that shopkeepers who witnessed the statue being damaged confronted the mentally disturbed accused, but he ran away from the spot.
The news of the desecration of the statue spread like wildfire and agitated citizens gathered in large numbers blocking traffic.
They demanded the installation of a new statue and to register a case against the accused.
Local BJP leaders also gathered at the spot demanding action but the district deputy collector arrived at the spot with the police and brought the situation under control.