With beef festivals being organised in different parts of Kerala in the last two days, BJP's State General Secretary K Surendran took to Facebook on Monday asking the state government to take measures to prevent such events.
"The meat being supplied in beef fests is not bought from licenced meat stalls. In some places beef fest is organised by violating rules at public places. The situation is going to the extent of creating panic. Some of the programmes are provocative in nature and anti socials and terrorists are making use of the situation," Surendran wrote on Facebook.
Surendran's long post on FB however garnered attention for a picture that he attached with the post.
The photograph he attached showed a street littered with slaughtered bovines.
However, minutes after Surendran posted the photograph, it invited severe criticism, with social media users questioning the authenticity of the photograph. Was the photograph from Kerala or Uttar Pradesh? Why did the BJP leader post a "fake" photo while talking about the situation in Kerala was a question posed by many furious readers.
The picture created furore also because it came at a time when Youth Congress leaders have been booked by the police for slaughtering a calf in public.
A reverse Google search on the image threw up at least three different results, in which the same photo accompanied news reports from Uttar Pradesh and one from Kerala.
It appears that the photograph was first used in 2012 in a report published by Chakranews.com. The cropped photo accompanied a story with a headline- "3 Culprits Caught After Sacred Cow Slaughtered at Hindu Temple."
The news item was from Ernakulam, when a pregnant cow was slaughter inside Shree Dharma Sastha temple.
The picture accompanying the news report was however different from that of the cow butchered in the temple, as is evident from a television report by ACV news on the incident.
The same cropped photograph then appeared in a report published by maeeshat.in in 2014. The date line in the news item with a headline- Stop Meat Export & Animal Slaughter: MCCI, says that it is from Aligarh.
The photo was published by Caravanalive.com in September 2014, along with a news item on the arrest of 4 people for cow slaughter in UP.
The "fake" photo allegation coming weeks after BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan earned ire for sharing a video that he said was of CPI (M) members celebrating the murder of a right wing supporter.
A case was registered against the BJP president for the same.
Hours after Surendran's post attracted criticism, he published a second post criticising Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran.
"Respected Kadakampally Surendran, you have been objecting to the credibility of the photo which I have posted on my page. But let me ask you another question, on what grounds are you falsely saying that I consume beef? Whom are you trying to appease through the low grade campaign, by pointing out the photo which is created in Photoshop and circulated?"
Coming down heavily on Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran who took part in a beef best organised by SFI on Saturday, Surendran wrote that minister had hurt hundreds of believers by doing so. He added that ministers and public activists must abstain from such terrifying acts.
"It is best for the people responsible for such events to abstain from conducting such events. I request you not to provoke nationalist groups," the BJP leader added.