Delhi MLA Kapil Mishra tweeted an image on 2 November in which a man can be seen holding an idol with the foot of a purported cop on his chest.
He tweeted this image with the text, “In the eyes of this devotee There is No Fear of brutality There is No fear of oppression This is the Power of Faith #Sabarimala #Ayyappa,” suggesting that the subject of the image was perhaps a victim of brutality.
At the time of writing this article, Mishra’s tweet was liked over 2,700 times and retweeted over 1,400 times.
The same image was earlier circulated by Squint Woke Neon (@squintneon) and Hindu Mahasabha activist Kamlesh Tiwari who tweeted – “See the violent treatment of Kerala police on Lord Ayyappa devotees.” Both these posts drew a combined retweet count of nearly 1,300.
भगवान अयप्पा के भक्त के साथ केरल पुलिस का ज़ुल्मों-सितम देखिए !!Posted by कमलेश तिवारी on Thursday, November 1, 2018
The Image Is of a Photoshoot, Not Sabarimala Protest
Journalist Bobins Abraham pointed out on Twitter that a photoshoot of a man named Rajesh Kurup was being circulated on social media as proof of Kerala police brutality against Ayyappa devotees.
This is how #FakeNews is created.— Bobins Abraham (@BobinsAbraham) November 3, 2018
A staged photo shoot of a man called Rajesh Kurup (രാജേഷ് കുറുപ്പ് ശ്രീകല്യാണി) by a photographer called Midhun Krishna Photography is now being circulated as police brutality on Ayyappa Devotees in Kerala. #SabarimalaProtests pic.twitter.com/Ebnv8onTs7
Abraham had posted another picture of Kurup where the photographer’s stamp – Madhu Krishna photography – is visible.
Alt News reached out to Rajesh Kurup who confirmed to us that the pictures were part of a photoshoot and that the one shared by Kapil Mishra was shot about four days ago, on 30 October.
We also contacted the photographer of the second image, Madhu Krishna. He said that the stamp on the photograph was indeed his and the picture was shot on 6 October. Sabarimala was opened to women for the first time on 17 October, which hints that the image could not be a depiction of protests which started after the temple permitted women’s entry.
Since protests against the entry of women in Sabarimala began, social media has been brimming with misinformation. Delhi MLA Kapil Mishra, prior to the aforementioned case, also spread fake news about a devotee dying in police action. In the past, numerous other false images and claims were viral in social media.
(This was first published on Alt News and has been republished with permission.)
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