Indian actor and comedian Raju Srivastava. ( AFP / STR)

Posts falsely claim Indian comedian Raju Srivastava died following heart attack in August 2022

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

After Indian standup comedian Raju Srivastava was admitted to hospital following a heart attack on August 10, 2022, messages of grief were shared in social media posts that claimed the star had died. The claim was misleading. Srivastava's business manager told AFP on August 18 that the comedian was alive. On September 21, his family told the Delhi-based Asian News International (ANI) that he had died. 

The claim was shared on Facebook here on August 13, 2022.

"The one who made us all laugh left the world laughing. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti", reads the Hindi-language post next to a picture of Raju Srivastava.

"Om Shanti" is an expression formed from the sacred, spiritual symbol "Om" and the Hindi word for "peace".

The expression is also superimposed over Srivastava's picture.

A screenshot of the the misleading post, captured on August 16, 2022

It circulated after local media reported that Srivastava was rushed to Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after he reportedly suffered a heart attack while working out at a gym.

The claim received thousands of interactions and hundreds of shares on Facebook, where it was also shared here and here. The claim was also shared on Twitter here and here.

Several users commented with expressions of grief.

"Very sad news, May God grant peace to his soul," wrote one user.

"Oh Very Sad RIP," wrote another.

The claim, however, was misleading.

At the time the misleading posts were circulating, Srivastava’s business manager Nayan Soni told AFP on August 18 that the 58-year-old’s condition was "stable" and he was recovering.

"He is improving," Soni said. "The speed is slow and the doctor said it can take around a week or so, but he is gradually improving. Cannot completely say out of danger but improving."

The comedian was still on a ventilator, he added.

Srivastava's personal secretary Garvit Narang was quoted in a Hindustan Times report on August 16 as saying the comedian was alive and getting better.

"Raju Srivastava's condition 'improving' says comedian's personal secretary days after he suffered heart attack," reads the article's headline.

A message on Srivastava's official Instagram account on August 13 also said his condition was stable.

However, on September 21, Srivastava's family told the Delhi-based Asian News International (ANI) that he had died.

This tweet from ANI read: "Comedian Raju Srivastava passes away in Delhi at the age of 58, confirms his family.

"He was admitted to AIIMS Delhi on August 10 after experiencing chest pain & collapsing while working out at the gym."

UPDATE: This article was updated on September 21 to reflect that Srivastava subsequently died on September 21, 2022.