An image of a gravely injured man, claimed to be priest Amit Pandey of the Vindhyachal Temple in Mirzapur, is viral on Twitter. It has been alleged that he was attacked by a group of Muslims who tried to kill him. Alt News has blurred a portion of the image due to its graphic content.
Old incident, false communal spin
We noticed that a user tagged Mirzapur police to bring the alleged attack to their attention. Replying to the tweet, Mirzapur police’s handle stated this was an old case and action had already been taken.
प्रकरण पूर्व का है जिसमें थाना विंध्याचल पर अभियोग पंजीकृत कर नियमानुसार विधिक कार्यवाही की गई है।
— Mirzapur Police (@mirzapurpolice) October 30, 2021
Alt News discovered that the image was circulated earlier in June 2020 with the same claim of a Muslim mob attacking a Hindu priest. Mirzapur police had debunked it back then too, stating that the image was taken after a brawl at the Vindhyachal Temple between two parties from the Panda community. The police also warned that strict action would be taken against individuals spreading the false claim. Though this post was deleted later, its archived version can be accessed here.
Alt News reached out to Mirzapur police for more information. Mirzapur ASP (City) Sanjay Kumar confirmed that this was a scuffle between priests. He reiterated there was no communal angle to the incident.
Aaj Tak spoke to Amit Pandey’s brother Sumit who said the incident had taken place on June 28, 2020. Pandey was suddenly attacked by a group of priests from the temple when he arrived at night to perform prayers. Sumit clarified that the information about the attackers being Muslim was purely a rumour.