No, man destroying Saraswati image in viral video is not a Muslim


A video of a man going on a rampage inside what looks like a classroom in a school is making the rounds on social media. During the outburst, the man is also seen kicking an image of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, and in impact, it is flung off from a chair. It has been claimed that the man creating the ruckus is a Muslim. Twitter user Anand Kumar tweeted this video with the claim. At the time of the writing of this story, the clip amassed more than 78,000 views and over 2,600 retweets. (Archived link)

Various other Twitter users also amplified the video, claiming the man seen here was a Muslim.

Fact Check

Alt News noticed that one user replied to the viral tweet with a newspaper clipping. The Gujarati clipping is about an incident in which an inebriated man ran amok inside a school in Kawant taluka of Chhota Udepur, Gujarat. When school officials and the principal tried to intervene, the man kicked the photo of Saraswati kept there, knocking it to the floor. He was then taken into custody by the police.

Using this information, Alt News performed a keyword search in Gujarati. This led us to Gujarati media outlet Sandesh News’ coverage of the incident. The report identifies the man as teacher Yogesh Rathwa. News18 Gujarati also released an article on the development.

Alt News reached out to Kawant police station in-charge CM Gamit for further confirmation. Identifying the accused as Yogesh Rathwa, he revealed that the incident occurred last week. Rathwa had come to Kawant from Barwada taluka to attend a wedding ceremony, which is when he entered the school in a drunken state and ransacked it. Following this, he was arrested. Refuting the claims circulating on social media, the officer clarified that there was no communal angle in the matter and the accused was from the Hindu community. Several media reports on the incident describe the man seen in the video as a teacher. Police added that the man works as a teacher in a school in Naswadi.

To sum it up, a viral clip of a man vandalizing a school in Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur in a drunken state was falsely shared on social media with a communal spin. In reality, the man, seen in the footage kicking a photo of Hindu Goddess Saraswati in the school, is a Hindu.

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