FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show People In India Throwing Religious Statues Into A River During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook more than 300 times purportedly shows people in India throwing religious statues in the river because they “can’t deliver them from COVID-19.”

Verdict: False

The footage has circulated online since at least 2015 and is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fact Check:

In the video, several men climb into a truck containing what appear to be religious statues. They then throw the statues one-by-one over the bridge into the river below.

Facebook users claim the footage shows people in India “throwing away their idol into the river because it can’t deliver them from COVID-19.” (RELATED: Has India’s Government Banned People From Posting About COVID-19 On Social Media?)

Through a reverse image search of key frames, the Daily Caller found the video posted on Facebook in 2015, roughly four years before the coronavirus first emerged. The caption reads, “Though the idol is gone, Ganesha lives forever! And that story is the same for the true being, the soul, too. It is in this spirit and fervor that the immersion is celebrated all over India.”

The video was taken on the National Highway 44 bridge that runs over the Krishna river in Beechupally, according to AFP Fact Check. Google Maps shows multiple Hindu temples located nearby.

The statues appear to depict the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha. At the end of the 10-day festival Ganesh Chaturthi, statues of Ganesha are immersed in rivers, according to the BBC.

As of May 31, India has nearly 90,000 active coronavirus cases and over 5,100 deaths, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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