A newspaper clipping claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the son of self-styled godman and rape convict Asaram Bapu is doing the rounds on social media.
The clipping, shared by members of the Congress party on social media, reads:
"अमेरिकी डीएनए विशेषज्ञ का दावा आसाराम के बेटे हैं मोदी"
The Quint also received this clipping on its WhatsApp helpline.
The message claims that this revelation was made by one Dr Martin Sijo, an American DNA expert, at a press conference. Sijo had supposedly said that he had DNA samples of both Asaram Bapu and Modi, and that their swabs matched. The clipping further claimed that this piece of news was hushed up by the BJP.
Incidentally, this is not the first time this clipping has been shared on social media. It had earlier gone viral in January as well.
TRUE OR FALSE?
This clipping is fake, and has been digitally edited. An earlier version of this fake clipping, targeting Rahul Gandhi, had gone viral with the claim that the same DNA expert "Dr Sijo" had revealed that Rahul Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were not related.
This clipping was then debunked as fake by Alt News.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A comparison of the two clippings showed that the words Rahul Gandhi had been replaced with Modi, and the word Rajiv Gandhi was interchanged with Asaram Bapu.
The clipping has been further edited in places to make it appear as though the DNA samples did match, when the earlier version of the clipping in the case of the Gandhis said "it did not match."
HOW DO WE KNOW THE NEWS IS FAKE?
The claim of the PM Modi being Asaram Bapu's son does not hold any truth simply because had 'Dr Sijo' held a press conference to announce something of this magnitude, it would have been covered by the media.
Further, a search on the internet for "Dr Martin Soji, DNA expert" yielded no legitimate results, thus revealing the dubious nature of this claim.