Hyderabad: Images of a dhoti-clad rudraksha-wearing man drenched in the blood are going viral on social media. Sharing them, Users are claiming that he is Amit Pandey, a priest of Vindhyavasini temple, Mirzapur, who was fatally attacked by some Jihadists.
Original claim: "इस बक्त एक बड़ी खबर आ रही हे, बहुत ही दुःख की बात है. मिर्ज़ापुर के विंध्याचल मां के दरबार में पूजा करने वाले अमित पांडेय जी को जिहादियो ने जान से मारने की कोशिश क
"Amit Pandey, the priest who led the prayers at Mirzapur's Vindhyachal temple, was fatally attacked by jihadists." reads the English translation of the post.
NewsMeter received the viral claim as a forwarded message on WhatsApp.
Similar posts can be found here.
The claim is False.
On conducting a reverse search of viral photos, the team found that they were shared by a lot of people in July 2020. Commenting on one such Twitter post, the UP police tagged Mirzapur police and commented, 'please take cognizance and take necessary action.' this proves that the incident is not recent.
A Youtube channel 'India News Report' carried a report dated June 29, 2020. It used the same image. The report says that the incident took place in the sanctum sanctorum of Vindhyavasini temple.
Amit Pandey's name has appeared in several fights that happened in the Vindhyavasini temple. One of them happened about three months ago. Two groups clashed over the darshan of devotees. A video of the incident had also gone viral when Amit Pandey was beaten up by people from another group in the case.
In another incident, Amit Pandey was beaten up by the police for allowing his acquaintances to visit the temple first. According to a June 21, 2021 report in 'Hindustan', three policemen who beat the purohit were suspended.
Similarly, In August last year, Amit Pandey had a dispute with some other priests of the temple. The police also came when the matter escalated. According to a report in the 'Times of India,' the priest had thrown burning Diyas at some policemen. The injured policemen were taken to the hospital and a report was filed against the priest.
Further, Aaj Tak approached Sumit Pandey, brother of Amit Pandey, a pilgrim priest at Vindhyavasini temple, who confirmed that the person in the picture is his brother and the incident took place on June 28, 2020.
"Bhai saheb (Amit) was going to worship at around 9.15 pm that day. Suddenly, some priests from the temple attacked him. An FIR has been lodged against this incident," said Sumit to Aaj Tak.
Hence, the claim is false. The incident is about a year old when Amit Pandey, a priest of Vindhyavasini temple, Mirzapur, had a dispute with some other priests.