A video claiming that a temple in Gujarat was caught manufacturing fake currency notes at a time when the entire country is struggling against the COVID-19 pandemic has been viral on social media.
This video was posted on social media along with a caption saying,” इधर पूरा देश लड़ रहा है #_कोरोना_वायरस” से। उधर #गुजरात_के_मंदिर में चल रहा है नकली नोट छापने का धंधा। #लाॅक_डाउन का भर पूर फायदा उठाया |”. This translates to “On one hand, the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and on the other hand this temple in Gujarat is making full use of the lockdown and printing fake notes”. Additionally, some of the posts also asked people to follow a certain Instagram handle.
A Facebook page called “NewsIdol” posted this video that contained a news clipping of “Zee Bihar Jharkhand”. This video garnered 295 thousand views, over 28 thousand shares and 8.8 thousand likes.
Several other Facebook profiles also posted the video.
The claim is false. The video is a news clip from ‘Zee Bihar Jharkhand’, where they say that an under-construction Swaminarayan temple in Surat was busted for printing fake currency notes. The anchors or the news report say nothing about COVID-19 or the lockdown. The news clip mentioned that five people, including the priest was arrested for the crime.
According to several news reports by The Indian Express and The Economic Times, this incident took place in November 2019. The reports stated that fake currency notes worth Rs 1 crore was confiscated and five people including the priest was arrested by crime branch of Gujarat police from an under-construction Swaminarayan temple in Ambav village in Kheda, Surat.
Additionally, TV9 Gujarati also uploaded a video captioned “Kheda Swaminarayan Sadhu supplied fake currency notes in prasad box, arrested by Surat crime branch” on November 24, 2019.
Also, a Facebook post was found on the same incident which was upladed on November 26,2019.
Thus, it is evident that the incident did not take place during lockdown but was an incident from last year.