This photo shows a different monk in India

·2-min read

A photo is circulating in Facebook and Twitter posts that claim it shows a monk who was killed in a spate of violence that broke out during a Hindu festival in Bangladesh in October. The claim is false; the photo shows a different monk who told AFP on November 11 that he was alive and well.

The photo was shared here on Twitter on October 19, 2021.

The tweet reads: "This is Swami Nitai Das Prabhu who was killed in the attack on the #ISKCON temple in #Bangladesh last Saturday."

ISKCON is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a Hindu religious organisation also known as the Hare Krishna movement.

The photo shows a monk serving food to a number of men in traditional Muslim dress.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on November 9, 2021

The post circulated online following deadly violence in Bangladesh over the desecration of the Koran during a Hindu religious festival in October.

Two Hindu men were killed after protesters attacked a temple in the southern town of Begumganj in Bangladesh's Noakhali district.

The photo was shared in similar posts here and here on Facebook and here, here, and here on Twitter. It was also shared in Hindi posts here, here and here.

However, the posts are misleading.

A Google reverse image search followed by a keyword search found the photo published in an article by UCA News from July 4, 2016 headlined: "Hindu group hosts fast breaking event for Muslims".

It describes an event held at an ISKCON temple in Kolkata, capital of India's West Bengal state.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (left) and the image in the article (right):

Screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (left) and the image in the article (right)

ISKCON's National Director of Communications in India Yudhistir Govinda Das told AFP the photo was taken in West Bengal.

Das identified the monk in the photo as an ISKCON devotee from Croatia, Ivan Antić, also known as Chaitanya Nitai Das.

"He is not among the two members of ISKCON who were killed in recent attacks on Hindu temples in Bangladesh," Govinda Das added.

Contacted by AFP, Ivan Antić confirmed he was the monk in the photo.

In a statement dated October 17, ISKCON identified the two devotees who died during violent protests in Bangladesh as Pranta Chandra Das and Jatan Chandra Saha.

The statement does not mention Swami Nitai Das Prabhu, whom the misleading posts purport was the ISKCON member who died in Bangladesh.

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