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No, Photo Doesn't Show PM Modi Touching IAS Officer Arti Dogra's Feet

Arti Dogra is a 2006 batch IAS Officer who is currently working with the Rajasthan government.

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A photograph showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi touching the feet of a differently-abled woman is being shared identifying her as IAS officer Arti Dogra, adding that he was the chief architect of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor project.

However, we found that the woman in the photograph was not Dogra and neither was she the chief architect of the Kashi Vishwanath renovation project. The woman in the photo was identified as one Shikha Rastogi from Varanasi. Dogra, on the other hand, is a 2006 batch IAS Officer who is currently working with the Rajasthan government.

Additionally, the chief architect of the renovation project is Dr Bimal Patel.

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CLAIM

The viral claim read, "Aarati Dogra, IAS Officer who was the chief architect behind renovation of Kashi Vishwanath Temple. She is rather too short (just Three Feet and 6 inches) BUT obtained 56th rank in the UPSC exam in *her very first attempt; she is the daughter of sn Army Officer. Modiji Prime Minister of India worshiping on her feet praising her yeoman services in accomplishing this grand memorable achievement. (sic)"

Arti Dogra is a 2006 batch IAS Officer who is currently working with the Rajasthan government.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Facebok/Screenshot)

The same caption was used by other social media users on Facebook and Twitter, archives of some of which can be found here, here and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We conducted a reverse image search of the viral image and found news reports that carried the photograph and said that PM Modi took blessings from the differently-abled woman.

The report published on 16 December also mentioned that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also present at the location and spoke with the woman.

A report in Hindi-language daily Amar Ujala, identified the woman as one Shikha Rastogi, a resident of Sigra area of ​​Varanasi.

We, then, conducted a keyword search for "Shikha Rastogi in Varanasi" and found a video interview of her on Hindi news channel Aaj Tak.

She can be seen talking about her meeting with PM Modi and CM Yogi.

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WHO IS ARTI DOGRA?

Arti Dogra is a 2006-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre. Dogra, who originally hails from the state of Uttarakhand, is currently working as a special secretary to Chief Minister in Rajasthan's Jaipur since December 2018.

Dogra is also differently-abled and we found several news reports documenting her inspirational journey, which also carried photographs of her.

We then conducted a keyword search for "the chief architect of the Kashi Vishwanath renovation project" and found a video report by DD News that identified Dr Bimal Patel as the chief architect.

The video was titled, "DD Exclusive interview of Dr Bimal Patel, the Chief Architect of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham project".

In the interview, Dr Patel talks about the various aspects of the renovation and explains how the new construction would look.

Evidently, the claim that PM Modi touched the feel of IAS officer Arti Dogra and the claim that she is the chief architect of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project are both false.

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