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2-min read

No, This Video Does Not Show Police Assaulting ISKCON Members in West Bengal

The video was uploaded in this Facebook post on May 6, 2019, which has been shared more than 6,300 times.

AFP

Updated:May 20, 2019, 3:40 PM IST
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No, This Video Does Not Show Police Assaulting ISKCON Members in West Bengal
Screen grab of the misleading image circulating on social media.
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A video has been viewed thousands of times in multiple 2019 Facebook posts that claim it shows police in West Bengal assaulting members of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for selling copies of a Hindu holy text. The claim is false; the video shows a scuffle in Goa between police and members of a Hindu organisation; the video has circulated online since 2018 in connection with an incident from 2008.

The video was uploaded on a Facebook post on May 6, 2019, which has been shared more than 6,300 times.

Below is a screenshot of the post:

ISKCON 1

Snapshot of the misleading Facebook post

A caption alongside the video in the post states: “Violent attack on ISKCON members by West Bengal Police. Their crime was they were selling Bhagwad Geeta.”

The video was also posted to Facebook with similar claims.

The video in the misleading posts matches a YouTube video uploaded by the channel Iskcon Truth on 25 November, 2018.

The video in the misleading posts begins at the 19-second mark in the YouTube video.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R):

ISKCON 2

Screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R)

The same logo for Iskcon Truth can be seen in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

The YouTube video description states: “Unseen Footage: Extremely Violent Attack On ISKCON Members by Goa Police (NOT West Bengal).

"The incident had occurred in 2008 in Goa, in which a group of Russian members of the ISKCON GBC had clashed with the police after the latter tried to stop them following complaints by the locals.”

On May 9, 2019, a Facebook page called Iskcon Truth published this post about the same YouTube video and included a link to it.

The post states: “Dear ISKCON Devotees, This is to clarify that one of our ISKCON TRUTH videos is been misused by many people for political gains. The following video is NOT from West Bengal, and this happened in 2008 in Goa.

"We also apologise for the title inside the video saying West Bengal. Kindly do not spread lies and hatred online regarding this video. Jai Srila Prabhupada."

A fact check report published by Scroll on May 8, 2019, named the real location of the video in the misleading posts as a taxi rank in the town of Mapusa, Goa.

AFP geolocated the footage to Mapusa with reference to a Google user image tagged at a taxi rank there.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) with the Google user image (R):

ISKCON 3

Screenshots comparing location of the video in the misleading posts (L) with the Google user image (R)

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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