A photograph of a man desecrating an idol inside a temple has been shared with the claim that his name is Mohammad Ansari. One Avni Padeny’s June 24 post drew 25,000 shares as of this writing.

A parody account of Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami (@GoswamiArnabRpt) also tweeted the picture and later took it down.

Alt News has received several fact-checks requests for the photograph on its official mobile application.


The incident dates back to April 2020. A Twitter user has shared the same image on May 11 while writing, “Lodhi Gautam, son of Azad Gautam from Kardhna village of Mirzamurad police station area of ​​Varanasi has taken a photo of himself placing his feet on the temple of Dih Baba in Adampur village. Take appropriate action, Azad Gautam is also claiming that he is a member of Bhim army.”

The Twitter handle of ADG Zone Varanasi replied to the tweet stating that the accused has been imprisoned by Varanasi police.

Varanasi police also replied to the user and wrote that a case was registered against the accused on April 24 and he has been arrested.

According to a report published in Amar Ujala on April 24, Azad Kumar Gautam, a resident of Kardhana village in Varanasi, was arrested and sent to jail by Mirzamurad police for hurting religious sentiments. Gautam had also posted objectionable posts on Hindu gods on his Facebook profile.

The report further said that inspector Sunil Dutt Dubey of Mirzamurad police station told Amar Ujala that Daroga Brijesh Singh arrested Gautam from his house on the basis of a complaint. A mobile phone was also recovered from him.

Therefore, social media claim that ‘Mohammad Ansari’ was arrested for desecrating a Hindu idol is false. The man arrested was Azad Kumar Gautam.

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About the Author

She specializes in information verification, examining mis/disinformation, social media monitoring and platform accountability. Her aim is to make the internet a safer place and enable people to become informed social media users. She has been a part of Alt News since 2018.