By: Rohith Gutta
August 2 2023
The video was taken in 2019 and is from Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh. Legal action was taken against the two men seen in the video.
A video of a man urinating on an idol of the Hindu god Hanuman and another man kicking it has been shared on Twitter (now called X) and WhatsApp with the claim that the incident took place in Hyderabad— the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana—recently. The video shows the men approach a small shrine where they desecrate the Hanuman idol placed outside. They can be heard speaking in Hindi and directing each other on how to vandalize the idol. One tweet, by ‘Tathvam-asi (@ssaratht),’ with the video had gained over 19,200 views and more than 440 retweets at the time of publishing. An archive of the tweet can be found here.
However, the incident is neither recent nor from Hyderabad.
Commenting on the now-viral Twitter post, Sai Sri, Deputy Commissioner of Police, LB Nagar, Hyderabad, said an initial probe found that no such incident was reported in Hyderabad. “In this regard, I DCP LB Nagar Zone, wish to clarify that a case has been registered and investigation in progress. However preliminary it is observed that no such incident occurred according to eye witnesses. Hence I am requesting to not believe the rumors and spread hate (sic),” the comment read. Logically Facts also reached out to Sri, who said, “No such incident had taken place (in Hyderabad). We have CCTV cameras all across (the city).”
A reverse image search of the keyframes of the video led us to a clip uploaded on YouTube on October 20, 2018, by user ‘vikas verma.’, The video title read, “He peed on the Hanuman Idol. What treatment should he be given? (translated from Hindi).” This shows that the video dates back to at least October 2018.
A screengrab from the video in question was also shared by Twitter user ‘ShankhNaad (@ShankhNaad)’ on October 21, 2018. The tweet also said people “who desecrated a Hanuman idol have been apprehended by the UP Police”. He also posted a photograph of two individuals in handcuffs, presumably the suspects.
Twitter user ‘Squint Neon’ posted the same screengrab and the same photo of the two individuals on July 10. The tweet also included a photograph from a page of what appears to be a police complaint. The complaint listed Arjun Singh Jatav and Dharm Singh as suspects. The complaint was filed with the Balari police station in Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh by one Gaurav Yadav.
According to the complaint, Yadav had received the viral video on WhatsApp on October 19, 2018. He stated that upon inquiry, he discovered that the two people in the video were Arjun Singh Jatav and Dharm Singh.
While Logically Facts did not come across the FIR First Information Report) filed by the police in the matter on the website of Uttar Pradesh Police, we found the bail order for one of the accused, Arjun Singh Jatav. Records of the Etawah District Court available online (case number 2898/2018 and FIR number 0081/2018) show that Jatav was accused of peeing on the idol and Dharm Singh was accused of kicking the idol. They were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Etawah court granted conditional bail to Jatav on December 22, 2018, and the case is now pending before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Etawah.
The incident took place in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, in October 2018. The viral video has nothing to do with Hyderabad, and hence, we mark the claim false.