Hyderabad: Social media is abuzz with the claim that a heritage structure at Visva Bharati University in West Bengal, the iconic bell tower, was demolished for Union Home minister Amit Shah's visit to Santiniketan.

According to one Twitter user, "The iconic 'Ghonta Tola' of @visva_bharati demolished ahead of @AmitShah visit to Santiniketan. Every last vestige of Rabindranath is being slowly erased. History is being rewritten!!! Weep, my countrymen, weep!!!" (archive)

Fact Check:

NewsMeter found that the claim is FALSE and the demolition of the structure is not related to Amit Shah's visit. In fact, the bell tower was destroyed in August 2020.

We searched online for reports related to the Ghanta Tala bell tower at Visva Bharati University and found a report by News18 from August 2020. According to the report, an ancient banyan tree was uprooted on the Santiniketan Gaur premises following heavy rains, damaging the bell floor.

"The ancient banyan tree was uprooted due to the rains in the past few days. The traditional bell floor was damaged by the tree. Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and other officials and security personnel visited the spot. Discussions were held on replanting the tree and repairing the damaged floor. However, public access to the ashram area is prohibited at the moment," read the report.

The incident took place in August this year, thus indicating that it is not related to Shah's visit. Furthermore, Ashok Kumar Mahato, the registrar of Visva Bharati University, confirmed to India Today that Ghanta Tala was damaged when a tree fell on the structure a few months ago. Mahato refuted the viral claim and said, "Amit Shah was not supposed to visit or pass through Ghanta Tala and so, there was no such activity around the area. The structure was damaged a few months back."

It is clear that the demolition of the iconic bell tower at Visva Bharati University in West Bengal is not related to Amit Shah's visit. Hence, the claim is FALSE.


Claim Review :   Demolition of iconic bell tower at Visva Bharati University in Bengal related to Amit Shah’s visit
Claimed By :  Twitter Users
Fact Check :  False

Misha Rajani

Misha Rajani is a Fact Checker at NewsMeter. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Francis College for Women. She has written a thesis on “ Role of social media in highlighting injustice”. Apart from pursuing a career in news writing, Misha is also skilled in graphic designing. You can follow Misha on Twitter @misharajani00

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