An old photo from 2009 of a police officer dragging an Asaram Bapu supporter in Gujarat, is viral with a false claim that it is from Uttar Pradesh and shows Hindu saints being harassed by former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Ahead of Uttar Pradesh election in 2022, Akhilesh has hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party alleging that the BJP's policy is "kill and rule" and compared the party to the British rule in India, in terms of atrocities on people. He further added that every section of the society is troubled under the BJP rule.
The caption with the photo in Hindi translates to, "Friends from UP, no jihadi was there to pull the hair of our saints, He was Akhilesh Yadav's father, so remember it when he will come to ask for votes after three months."
(Original Text in Hindi: Up के मित्रों हमारे संतो का बाल पकड़ कर खिंचवाने वाला कोई जेहादी नही था,,,वो अखिलेश यादव के अब्बा जान थे तो जब 3 महीने बाद वोट माँगने आए तो याद रखना..!!)
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BOOM did a reverse image search on Yandex search engine and found a non-active article from a website named Ashram.org. We then checked Internet Archive and found the full-version of the article there carrying the viral image.
Following the link, we found the article is a press release written on December 6, 2009. The press release mentions about the Gujarat police's "attack" on Asaram Bapu's Ashram and his "disciples" on November 27, 2009.
We then visited the website named Ashram.org which links back to Asaram Bapu's official YouTube channel Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu. The 'About' section of the YouTube channel also names the same website address as its contact source.
Taking a cue from this, we did a related keyword search and found an Indian Express article published on November 28, 2009. According to the article, "A day after arresting 236 supporters of Asaram Bapu on charges of attempt to murder, conspiracy and rioting in connection with violence in Gandhinagar on Thursday, the police today detained another 150 followers of the religious leader from his ashram at Motera."
Speaking to IE, A K Sharma, Inspector General, Gandhinagar Range said, "These people were detained from the ashram during a search and combing operation on Friday morning. At present, they are being questioned. If found guilty, they will also be booked for attempt to murder and rioting."
We also found a video report from AajTak's YouTube channel published on November 30, 2009 showing similar scenes.
Asaram Bapu, a self-proclaimed spiritual guru, is currently serving a life sentence at Jodhpur Central Jail. He was accused of rape by a 16-year-old girl in 2013 and was arrested in 2014.
Updated On: 2021-12-11T23:27:12+05:30
Claim : Photo shows how saints were tortured in Uttar Pradesh while Mulayam Singh Yadav was serving as the chief minister of the state.
Claimed By : Social Media Users
Fact Check : False