Bengaluru: A flag was found atop the canopy over a statue of Sri Adi Shankaracharya in the temple town of Sringeri in Chikkamagaluru district on Thursday, police said.
While the police said it was a flag which did not belong to any political party or religion, local BJP leaders alleged it was that of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
"There is a Shankaracharya statue and above it is the gopuram (canopy). The flag was found there. It is neither a party flag nor Islamic flag. It is some blue red and green flag," a police officer said.
The statue is located at the Shankaracharya Circle (road junction) in the town.
He added that some miscreant had thrown it on the gopuram, which got stuck there. "There is no damage to the statue. Morning when we got to know we removed it. An FIR has been registered," he added.
The local BJP leaders lodged a complaint about the mischief. BJP MLA and former minister S A Ramadass too condemned the act.
"It has come to the knowledge that SDPI's flag was put on Shankaracharya's statue. I have asked the officials concerned to arrest the culprit. Our government will not tolerate such anti-social elements," he tweeted, posting a picture of the flag atop the canopy.
Sringeri is one of the four seats of spiritual learning set up by the Adi Shankaracharya about 1,300 years ago. Swami Sri Bharati Teertha is the present Shankaracharya of the Sringeri mutt.
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A video where a man talking in Urdu is referring to the demolition of Babri masjid and encouraging the Muslim community to take control over the judiciary, police force, health department, and other professions by increasing Muslim representation is massively viral on social media. It has been shared with the claim that the man is the owner of the Himalaya Drug Company.
The video has been circulated with messages advising against the use of Himalaya products.
Several users posted the video on Facebook and Twitter.
Alt News has received several fact-check requests for this video on its official mobile application.
Alt News used InVid to break down the video into several frames. We reverse searched one of the frames on Yandex and found another YouTube video featuring the same man. The video identified him in Urdu which translates to Naqi Ahmed Nadwi.
Searching for his name led us to his social media profiles. We found the same video posted on August 6, 2020, on Naqi Ahmed Nadwi’s Facebook page with an Urdu caption بابری مسجد کا انہدام اوراسکی جگہ پر رام مندر کا قیام تاریخ ہند کا ایک ایسا موڑ ہے جس کے بارے میں مسلمانوں کو سنجیدگی سے غور کرنا ہوگا! (The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the erection of the Ram Temple on its site is a turning point in the history of India which Muslims must seriously consider!)
The founder of Himalaya Drug Company is Mohammad Manal who passed away in 1986. The incumbent President and CEO is Philipe Haydon. The company tweeted a fact-check report debunking the video in question on September 27.
This isn’t the first time that the multinational company was targetted with misinformation on social media. Earlier in March, a false claim suggested that its founder funds terrorists.