A video is being shared widely on social media in which policemen are seen clashing with a group of devotees. The claim accompanying the video is that West Bengal police is assaulting ISKCON devotees from foreign countries for promoting Hinduism and distributing the Bhagavat Gita.

The video has been shared by several BJP supporters on Twitter.

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Viral since 2018

The same video was widespread in 2018 with a similar text, “West Bengal Police beating and terrorising the ISCON sanyasis and stopping them from distributing BHAGAVADGITA and other Hindu literature in West Bengal. The sanyasis are from western countries converted to ISCON faith, sacrificing all their jobs, wealth and comforts for the Same of belief. How long you tolerate? Is this the secularism we profess in our country? Had it been the case with Muslims whole media and politicians would have made it a national issue [sic]”.

Fact-check

Alt News had fact-checked this video three years ago when it was being shared with the false claim that Krishna devotees were thrashed by Christian missionaries in Goa.

An article in a Goan news outlet heraldgoa.in dated November 26, 2008 used a featured image where the same individual and police officer can be seen as in the viral video.

However, the contents of the article on heraldgoa.in website were truncated, probably because the article is old and their website might have undergone changes in the past 13 years resulting in some of the old articles not being accessible anymore. We found the text of the same article in a 2013 Reddit thread. The incident occurred in 2008 in Goa, in which a group of Russian members of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna sect had clashed with the police after the latter tried to stop them following complaints by locals. Two policemen were injured in the brawl and eight Russians had been booked on charges of rioting and assaulting police.

The incident thus did not occur in West Bengal and nor is it recent. This is yet another attempt to portray that the Hindu community is unsafe in West Bengal. Since post-poll violence was reported in the state, many old and unrelated videos have been shared with the false claim that Hindus were attacked.

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About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.