Did Man Enter Kerala Temple to Kill Priest? No, Fake Alert

CLAIM

Amid the ongoing protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, a video showing a man wearing slippers and entering a temple is circulating on social media with the claim that he is a Muslim who entered the Kerala temple to kill the priest.

“When he was stopped from doing so, he started throwing the ‘aarti’ and attempted to vandalise idols because the priest was singing chants and ringing bells. Muslims were telling the priest not to do so,” the claim adds.

In the video, people can be heard saying, “Amit Shah ki Jai. Please take off your slippers. Sir, please take off your slippers! Your slippers!,” as the man continues to walk inside.

यह केरल के एक मन्दिर का वीडियो है. एक मुसलमान chappal पहनकर मन्दिर में पुजारी को मारने के लिए घूस गया लोगों ने रोका तो...

Posted by Jitendra Vikram on  Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The video has been shared by multiple users on Facebook with the same claim.

The Quint received a query on the claim made in the video via its WhatsApp helpline.

TRUE OR FALSE?

The claim along with the video is misleading. Firstly, the video is not from Kerala but Kolar in Karnataka.

Secondly, Kolar SP Karthik Reddy told The Quint that the man seen in the video has been identified as Sikandar Beg and is “mentally unstable.” He denied that Sikandar had entered the temple to kill the priest.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

As the video begins, a text mentioning ‘Kolar Update’ can be read. Taking a cue from there, we got in touch with a local reporter who said that the incident is from Karnataka’s Kolar and had happened around 10 days ago.

We also found a longer version of the video in which the man can been seen lying on the floor and saying, "Arrest me, a terrorist is here. Another man can be heard saying, "It's all the same sir, just come out.”

Subsequently, we reached out to Kolar SP Karthik Reddy who said that the man seen in the video is “mentally unstable.”

"“The man seen entering the temple has been identified as Sikandar Beg and the incident took place on 1 February. He is mentally unstable. He went inside the temple and created a ruckus. He didn’t vandalise any idol nor did he intend to kill the priest.”" - Kolar SP Karthik Reddy

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The police official also said that while examining his medical reports, it was found that he has been under medical treatment.

“We have arrested him. A case has also been registered,” he added.

We also found an article published in local Kannada newspaper Prajavani that claimed that Sikandar is “mentally unstable”.

The article mentions that the 26-year-old Sikandar is a resident of Sarige Nagar. “Around 10 pm, he came to Anjaneya temple on his bike and entered the temple's sanctum. The priest and other public tried to take him out but he slept there. They beat him up before handing over him to police and also set his bike on fire,” the article said.

“He is not in a sound mental condition and is has been undergoing treatment in NIMHANS,” the article added.

Local newspaper Prajvani published an article on the incident on 2 February.

It is thus clear that the video is not from Kerala, but Kolar in Karnataka. Contrary to the claim being made, the man had no intention of killing the priest. Further, the police have said that he is “mentally unstable”.

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