A deadly bombing in India is being misrepresented as linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict, with claims Jews living there were targeted in the attack.
There is no link to the Middle East conflict or any suggestions Jewish people were targeted.
In the weeks since it has also circulated among the Indian community in Australia.
Dominic Martin confessed to the Kerala attack within 24 hours and surrendered to police, stating in a video he was a former member who felt the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “teachings were dangerous to the country”.
He also recorded videos of himself testing explosive devices, The Times of India reported.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian sect has no connection to the Jewish faith.
Misinformation about the attack spread quickly, amplified by Indian government minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who wrote on X (formely Twittter) that “in Kerala open calls by Terrorist Hamas for Jihad is causing attacks and bomb blasts on innocent christians (sic)”.
Police reportedly opened an investigation into his post over allegations he had stirred religious hatred on social media.
Reporters in India have also debunked claims of any links between the bombing and conflict in the Middle East.
“Kalamassery has no Jewish population and has nothing to do with Israel,” South First reporter K A Shaji wrote in a piece, noting there were “fake narrative” attempts “to project the explosion as part of jihad”.
Nair confirmed details with local police and also said there is no Jewish community in the Kalamassery area.
He also said there was no suggestion locally that the attack was connected to the virtual appearance of Mashaal, which he said happened some 150km away.
Dheeshma Puzhakkal, the principal correspondent at India Today Fact Check, also said the claim was false.
She too confirmed there was no Jewish population in the area and no evidence to link the attack to Mashaal’s speech.
The claim Jews were targeted in an October 29 bombing in India is false.
A Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting was bombed, leaving three dead, but a disgruntled member of the group has reportedly confessed and been arrested.
There is no suggestion of a link to a virtual meeting by a former Hamas leader shortly before the blast.
False – The claim is inaccurate.