Fake News: Lord Ayyappa devotee commits suicide over entry of women inside Sabarimala temple

The ongoing conflict surrounding the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups inside temple has led to tension and violence in Kerala. It is now being claimed that a devotee named Jayarajan from Valanchery, Kerala has committed suicide in the wake of the incident where two women activists entering Sabarimala and there by allegedly ‘desecrating’ the temple. Among many social media users, ShankhNaad, who has repeatedly spread divisive misinformation, also tweeted this claim.

@Partyvillage017, an individual handle tweeted a photograph of the devotee with the same narrative. It has garnered close to 1300 retweets.Several individuals on Facebook are also circulating the photograph with the identical narrative.

What is the truth?

Officials have denied the links between the suicide and the controversy around women’s entry in Sabrimala.

In a conversation with Alt News, Gopi, brother-in-law of Jayaranjan said, “The suicide is not at all linked to the Sabarimala issue but of course he was a Sabarimala devotee. He was a retired post-master. Neither was he mentally ill nor did he have a financial problem.” Gopi confirmed that Jayarajan committed suicide on January 1, 2019. It must be noted that the two women went inside the Sabarimala temple on January 2.

In a statement given to Alt News, Inspector P Pramod said, “His family is denying the fact. They are saying there is no definite reason for suicide and it is not related to Sabarimala. The family has given a complaint that on social media, it is being linked to Sabarimala but it is not. His daughter had approached us with the complaint.”

Speaking to Boom Live, Inspector P Pramod said, “His death was reported by his brother-in-law at the police station. We carried out the procedures and are waiting for the post-mortem report.”

In conclusion, an incident of suicide which was in no way related to the Sabarimala temple row was falsely linked with the recent development in Sabarimala. The incident of suicide happened on January 1st and the two women entered the holy shrine on January 2nd. Therefore, the suicide cannot be related to the entry of the women in the temple. The Sabarimala issue has been at the centre of a massive misinformation campaign with multiple instances being reported last year as well.

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