Recently, a video of a man cutting sacred Hindus threads tied around people’s wrists has been circulating widely on social media. It is being claimed that the individual seen here is Shiv Shankar Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, who is forcing Hindus to never set foot in a temple again. These visuals are being shared against the backdrop of political parties gearing up and preparing for the upcoming assembly polls to be held in Uttar Pradesh. The footage is viral on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter user Uma Shankar Raghav shared the video with the same claim. (Archive link)

A Facebook group called ‘MODI JI YOGI JI FAN’S’ also shared the video.

Screengrabs from the viral clip are also being circulated on Facebook.

Fact-check

Alt News performed a keyword search on Facebook, which led us to the original video uploaded on November 30, 2020. The accompanying caption read, ‘Shudra Shivshankar Singh Yadav’ had ‘awakened’ some members of the superstitious Yadav community. The post states further, “…introduced them to their power and knowledge by cutting the kalawa (sacred thread), the symbol of hypocrisy and superstition. Shudra Shivshankar Singh Yadav cutting the thread of mental slavery tied on the hands of Yadav brothers in village Badhra, Nandganj, District Ghazipur.”

Alt News reached out to Shivshankar Yadav to get to the bottom of the matter. He revealed that the claim being made on social media is fake. “For the last five years, I have run a mission called ‘Garv se Kaho Hum Shudra Hain‘ (Say you’re a Shudra proudly) on social media under the name Shudra Shivshankar Singh Yadav. I also go by the same name on social media. I am a retired government officer. Because of my ongoing campaign against superstition and hypocrisy, I cut these kalawas from people’s wrists with their permission. In order to fight superstition, I still make people get their kalawas cut.” He added further, “I have no connection to any religious institution or any political party. Contrary to the viral claim, I have nothing to do with the Samajwadi Party. My mission is purely for social upliftment.”

Shivshankar Yadav had also lodged a complaint with the police after his video was shared by linking him to a political party. He sent a copy of this complaint letter to Alt News, which reads, “I declare with utmost certainty that neither this mission nor I am affiliated with any political party or religion.”

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It is noteworthy that the Samajwadi party does have a leader named Shivshankar Yadav. However, he is not the man in the video.

Therefore, users falsely identified a man cutting kalawas from people’s wrists as a Samajwadi Party leader who was also forcing them to take an oath to never enter a temple again. In reality, this individual identifies as a nonpartisan social activist whose work involves fighting against religious superstition.

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