Photographs of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Prayagraj - Shyam Prakash Dwivedi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are viral with netizens misidentifying Dwivedi as the father of one of the accused in the Hathras alleged gang rape case.
The photographs are viral with claims that one of the accused - Sandeep's father has links with top leaders in the government and in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A set of these images, where Dwivedi has been photographed with BJP leaders including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and PM Modi, are viral on social media with a caption, "Sandeep, who has been accused of violating Hathras daughter , his father's few memorable moments. They express everything."
(Original text in Hindi: हाथरस की बेटी के आरोपी सन्दीप के पिता की कुछ यादगार तस्वीर सबकुछ बयां कर देती है).
Below is a screenshot of a Facebook post.
A 20-year old Dalit woman died on September 29, after she was allegedly gang-raped and assaulted by four upper caste men on September 14. She succumbed to her injuries at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital. Four men including Sandeep, his uncle Ravi, their friends Lavkush and Ramu were arrested . The woman's brother alleged that Sandeep 'would stalk his sister. She was always afraid of the accused persons.' The alleged brutality meted out to the woman and her funeral by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the wee hours of September 30 has sparked a massive outrage.
The images are also viral with a similar narrative in Bangla, with several misidentifying Dwivedi as Sandeep's father. Click here for an archive.
BOOM ran a reverse image search and found that the image featuring Dwivedi and PM Modi was used in a news report which identified Dwivedi as the BJP leader from Prayagraj.
According to the news report, Dwivedi has been accused of raping a BA student from Prayagraj.
An excerpt from a Zee News report reads, "Prayagraj Police on September 16 registered a case against Dwivedi for raping a student in Prayagraj. The complaint has been lodged in the Colonelganj Police Station and the investigation against the BJP leader Shyam Prakash Dwivedi and Dr Anil Dwivedi has been started." Dwivedi however has denied the charges and termed the accusations a political conspiracy.
Dwivedi is the vice president of BJP Yuva Morcha's Kashi unit. Click here to read more.
We found the same images of Dwivedi with PM Modi and a selfie with Rajnath Singh on one of Dwivedi's Facebook pages. His Twitter account also has the same image as the header photo, where he has been photographed with PM Modi.
Dwivedi's image with Yogi Adityanath can be found in another Facebook page of his. BOOM could not independently verify the Facebook pages, however it is clear that the images are of Shyam Prakash Dwivedi and not Sandeep Singh's father.
BOOM has reached out to Dwivedi for a comment, the article will be updated as and when he responds.
A News 24 report features Sandeep's father, who claims that his son is innocent and has been framed. The father states that Sandeep was arrested two days after the assault on the woman. BOOM was able to corroborate the video with local news reporters in UP.
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