The consecration of the idol of Hindu deity Ram at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya took place on January 22 amid the performance of rituals and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance. Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and his wife, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, were among the invitees for the event.
Days after the ceremony, a video of Virat Kohli surfaced on social media with the claim that it showed him attending the consecration ceremony. Social media users also claimed that he was present at the event but the media did not cover him.
X (formerly Twitter) user @flickshott18 shared the above-mentioned video on January 23 with the following caption: “Guys, this is the video, Virat Kohli attended Ram Mandir Pran Prathishtha ceremony yesterday. It’s exclusive video”. The tweet has received over 12,000 views. (Archive)
Guys, this is the video, Virat Kohli attended Ram Mandir Pran Prathishtha ceremony yesterday. It’s exclusive video pic.twitter.com/dAcLrpjH1j
— r4hul (@flickshott18) January 23, 2024
We broke down the viral video into several key frames and ran a reverse image search on a few of them. This led us to a YouTube short video posted on September 20, 2023, by a Virat and Anushka fan page on YouTube called @VirushkaEdits. The YouTube ‘short’ carried the same viral video and was posted with the caption: “Virat Kohli visited his friend’s house for Ganpati Bappa Darshan”.
Taking a cue from the above, we ran a relevant keyword search that led us to another YouTube video by the channel, ‘The Sentinel’, published on the same day as the above YouTube short video. The title of the video said, “Virat Kohli visits Rahul Kanal’s house for Ganesh Chaturthi”. Politician Rahul Kanal could also be seen in the frame walking next to Kohli.
We found an Instagram post on Rahul Kanal’s profile from September 22, 2023, where Kohli could be seen greeting guests at Kanal’s residence and both of them could be seen wearing the same attire as in the viral video. Further, in the video shared by Rahul Kanal, Kohli could also be seen in front of a Ganesh idol seeking blessings. The caption of the post said: “Ganapati Bappa Morya 🙏
Ganesh Chaturthi is all about happiness n joy… blessed to have our king visiting us , to make it even more special and spreading smiles @virat.kohli bhai for taking out time and being you… memories forever… May God almighty bless us all…”
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Therefore, it is clear from the above findings that the viral clip does not show Virat Kohli attending the Ram Temple consecration on January 22. The video is from last year when Kohli visited Rahul Kanal’s residence on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Other than the two media reports mentioned above, which are evidently false, we could not find any report on Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma attending the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22.
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