Fact Check: Old image from West Bengal passed off as violence in Bangladesh

An image of a Caucasian monk serving food to Muslim men is widely being shared on social media. Users identify the man as Nitai Das.

By Tejal Sinha  Published on  23 Oct 2021 3:21 AM GMT
Fact Check: Old image from West Bengal passed off as violence in Bangladesh

Hyderabad: An image of a Caucasian monk serving food to Muslim men is widely being shared on social media. Users identify the man as Nitai Das.

It is being said that he is the founder of the ISKCON temple, who once used to serve food to Muslims during iftar. Users said he was killed in the recent violence in Bangladesh.








Fact Check

The claim is misleading.

NewsMeter firstly performed a Google Reverse Image Search which led us to a report published by UCA News on July 4, 2016. The news report had published a similar picture with a caption, "A monk from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness offers sweetmeats to Muslims during Iftar at the Hindu group's temple in Mayapur on 22 June."

The team then found the image also published on the website of Iskcon Truth that read, "To uphold this legacy of brotherhood, ISKCON Mayapur is organizing, "Iftaar Samabesh" on 22nd June evening at Geeta Bhavan premises of the temple."

The image was also posted on the website of Dharmadeen.

"It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Krishna, Gaura Nityananda Jew Temple in Choumoni was part of these attacks and that two devotees, Pranta Chandra das (whose dead body was found in a pond the next day) and Jatan Chandra Saha, were murdered during these attacks. Another devotee, Nimai Chandra das, remains hospitalized in a critical condition. All residential devotees were physically attacked and have sustained injuries," a report published on the website of Iskcon reads.

https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-official-report-on-bangladesh-attacks,8044/#disqus_thread

The fact check team then searched for reports that proved that a Caucasian monk named Nitai Das was killed in the Bangladesh violence.

The team then found that the ISKCON National director of communications, Yudhisthir Govind Das had further confirmed to Boom that the viral image is from ISKCON Mayapur in West Bengal. The man in the viral image is Ivan Antić whose Deeksha name is Nitayi Das.

https://www.boomlive.in/fact-check/iskcon-temple-priest-killed-west-bengal-durga-puja-pandals-vandalised-communal-violence-bangladesh-muslims-fact-check-15215

Since it was also claimed the Caucasian monk in the viral image is the founder of the Iskcon temple, the fact check team tried to search for who is the founder or owner of the Iskcon temple. The team found a video aired on the YouTube channel of 'Govind Krsna Das' on November 18, 2020, titled "10 Amazing Facts about ISKCON Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupad"

"This is my humble Tribute to the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON; His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad on his Disappearance Day," read the description of the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0hSCeZKu0U

It is therefore evident that the viral claim made is misleading. The 2016 viral picture of ISKCON temple Mayapur in West Bengal and has no relation with the recent violence in Bangladesh. The man in the viral image is not a monk but a native of Pula in Croatia. He is not the founder of the ISKCON temple.


Claim Review:Founder of ISKCON temples who made iftar, was killed in Bangladesh violence
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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