Old Temple in Malda catching fire incident is falsely linked with the Sandeshkhali violence!

Claim

Trinamool’s Shahjahan was accused of horrific crimes like sexual violence against Hindu women in Sandeshkhali. Meanwhile, in Krishnanagar, Malda, miscreants, led by Mohammed Asgar Ali, shamelessly burn a century-old Hindu Maa Kali temple. These brazen attacks on Hindus and their faith expose Mamata Banerjee’s failed leadership in ensuring their safety. #MamataSilent #ProtectHindus

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Explanation

The political battle between the BJP and TMC in West Bengal has revolved around a small island in the Sundarban Delta’s North 24-Parganas district for the past one and half months. In the context of the ongoing investigation into alleged irregularities in the state’s public distribution system, a team from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the home of local strongman and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan on January 5.

On February 8, some local women demanding the immediate arrest of Shahjahan and his two aides, Uttam Sardar, and Shiba Prasad Hazra, accused him of sexual harassment and abuse and blocked the main road in Sandeshkhali with brooms and sticks.

In this case, we see many videos circulating on the internet connecting it with the ongoing Sandeshkhali violence. Here in this 24-second video, we see a photo frame of Goddess Durga in a room. While watching the video we understand that the place has been in a destroyed condition. This post is shared by the BJP West Bengal handle with a claim stating that, “In Krishnanagar, Malda, miscreants, led by Mohammed Asgar Ali, shamelessly burn a century-old Hindu Maa Kali temple.” They went on to add that, “These brazen attacks on Hindus and their faith expose Mamata Banerjee’s failed leadership in ensuring their safety.” You can view related posts with similar claims here and here. Come, let’s check if this video is connected to the current Sandeshkhali violence.

What’s the truth?

When we started our analysis, with relevant keywords on Google, it led us to a Facebook post addressing the same issue.

According to the post released by the Malda District Police, “A misinformation is being spread about an unfortunate incident at Krishnanagar under Binodpur gp, under English Bazar PS.

It is to be stated that a mentally unstable person entered a temple through a gate that was left open. He tried to find food and tried to light the lamps there and the picture of the goddess caught fire.

The locals got up and caught him. They realized that he seemed mentally unstable and did not assault him at all and handed him over to the police. No complaint was submitted by any locals either.

The detained person was referred for a psychiatrist’s opinion who prescribed treatment for his psychiatric condition.

Administration along with locals arranged for a new picture of the goddess and pooja there.

Both police and locals helped each other to maintain peace and tranquility in the area.”

The information provided above by the Malda Police makes it clear that the incident is not related to the ongoing Sandeshkhali violence.

Conclusion:

We thus conclude that although the viral video purporting to show vandalism in an ancient Maa Kali temple in Malda is real, it does not have a communal component as the claim implies.

Actually, a mentally unstable person was the cause of this incident, according to a statement released by the Malda Police, who also asked the public to refrain from spreading false information that connected it to the Sandeshkhali

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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