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FACT CHECK: Was a temple ‘demolished’ in North Kashmir’s Kupwara?

Old hindu temple, Temple, Kashmiri hindu, heritage
Photo: Twitter

Srinagar: After images of a purportedly ‘demolished’ temple in the Waterkhani region of Kupwara went viral, a body of Kahmiri Pandits has come to clarify the facts regarding the incident.

On August 9, Mohit Bhan, spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (J&K PDP), took to his Twitter and claimed that Shiva Temple has been vandalised in the Kupwara district.

Asserting that the act has hurt the religious sentiments of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits, he demanded action against those behind the purported offence.

Bhan stated that he has confirmed the development via local journalists and tagged District Magistrate of Kupwara Anshul Garg in his post, seeking punishment for the culprits.

“A Shiva temple in village Waterkhani, Kupwara has been damaged by some miscreants 2 days back got it verified by local journalists. Immediate action needs to be initiated, culprits identified & booked under law. Religious sentiments of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits hurt,” Bhan tweeted along with a picture showing the damaged temple. However, the tweet stands deleted now.

The dubious news spread rapidly as people fell for Bhan’s claim and further shared it across different social media platforms.

However, z Kashmiri Pandit Body on Monday called upon Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Anshul Garg and apprised him about the fake news that has been viral on Facebook regarding demolition of Temple at Waterkhani Kupwara.

The Pandit group condemned this act and called it a handy work of the mischievous person responsible for circulating the fake news on social media.

“The fact is that the temple was damaged due to heavy snowfall in February this year, and the roof of the Temple had fallen in the nearby Lal Kul,” said Rakesh.

He added that since there are 500 government employees residing in Nutnussa migrant colony, the employees decided to contribute some amount to refurbish the said Temple and on Saturday they visited the Waterkhani Temple site and decided to work on its repairs with due permission of concerned Revenue authorities.

In fact, on our request, they assured all possible support and ensure renovation of the Temple on a religious basis, said Rakesh, flanked by his fellow members.

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Anshul Garg, clarified that the reason behind the ruinous condition of the particular Shiva Temple is natural dilapidation.

He refuted the claim that the temple was damaged by miscreants and appealed the residents to not jump to any conclusions.

“No case of vandalism as confirmed from field agencies and locals. The damage is a result of natural over time being an old structure. However, Administration is in touch will the local community for any assistance feasible. Would request all to maintain calm,” Anshul Garg replied to Bhan’s tweet.

Following the clarifying tweet from DC Kupwara, Bhan took to his twitter and said that he is taking down his earlier statements.

The Deputy Commissioner appreciated the Pandit Community for clearing the air on fake news and simultaneously assured them of every support from administration.

The DC also said that people should take utmost care while reacting to such malicious social media news and instead should contact administration for the clarifications.


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