Old Photos of Abused Adivasi Woman Falsely Shared as Cong Atrocity
 16 months after she was abused, Laxmi Orang was nominated to contest in Lok Sabha elections.
16 months after she was abused, Laxmi Orang was nominated to contest in Lok Sabha elections.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Old Photos of Abused Adivasi Woman Falsely Shared as Cong Atrocity

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An old image of an Adivasi woman being beaten by a few men on the streets has made a comeback. This time, a Facebook page - Hindu Akhilesh Gupta - shared these pictures, changing the context entirely and claiming that the woman was beaten by Congress workers in Bengal for raising pro-Modi slogans during a Congress rally.

At the time of publishing the article, the post had over 15,000 shares and 900 likes.

The Pictures Were Shared a Year Ago As Well

The same pictures were shared by a Yogi Adiyanath fan-page on Facebook, which has over 95,000 followers, with a similar narrative in 2017.

The post claimed that the ‘Hindu woman’ was stripped by Congress workers for allegedly raising slogans in support of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The post also called for people to share the post and “expose the true face of Congress” to the world. After the post was widely shared, protests broke out in Assam among the Adivasi community, to which the woman belongs, for the communal tinge given to the image and the fact that the woman’s face wasn’t hidden, as Hindustan Times reported.

(Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/YogiAdityaNath11/?ref=page_internal">Facebook</a>/Screengrab)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Screengrab)

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People burnt effigies of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and of RP Sharma, the BJP MP from Tezpur who shared the images on his own Facebook page.

It is shameful that the UP chief minister posted an old photo of Assam and tried to show it as an event from West Bengal. He also gave communal colour to the event and didn’t respect the woman’s dignity.
Deben Orang, Central Committee Member, All Adivasi Students Association of Assam
The post was shared over 30,000 times on Facebook, within hours of first being posted on the Adityanath page.

But was the woman actually stripped and abused by Congress workers?

The Origin of the Photo

The photo was clicked in 2007 in Assam, reported SMHoaxSlayer.

This photo, used by social media groups supporting BJP, also claimed that TMC workers abused the woman.

(Photo Courtesy: <i><a href="http://smhoaxslayer.com/yet-another-try-to-fuel-up-violence-the-poster/">SMHoaxSlayer</a></i>/Screengrab)
(Photo Courtesy: SMHoaxSlayer/Screengrab)

Identified as Laxmi Orang, the woman who belongs to the Adivasi community, was stripped naked by ethnic rioters in Guwahati.

She was harassed and abused by the mob when she was a part of the protest, demanding better rights for her community.

Orang was a part of thousands of protesters who took to streets, most of whom were Assam’s tea labourers.

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An Election Ticket

16-months after she was abused, Laxmi Orang was nominated by the regional Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), reported BBC.

I may not win but I want to make a point – Adivasis will no longer take exploitation lying down.
Laxmi Orang to BBC

However, her candidature was rejected by the Election Commission, as she was underage to contest in Lok Sabha elections.

Post the attack, Orang has emerged a voice for the tea tribes in their movement for equal rights.

Orang lodged an FIR on Sunday at the Moranhat police station in Charaideo district against Adityanath, but a case is yet to be registered.

We have received an FIR against the UP chief minister. But since it involves a chief minister and is a sensitive issue, we have sent the matter to senior officials and are awaiting advice before registering a case.
NN Barik, In-Charge, Moranhat Police Station

(This article was published in 2017 and has been updated with details of a new page sharing the old pictures.)

(With inputs from SMHoaxSlayer)

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