'Saint' Dragged by UP Police on Mulayam Singh's Order? No!
The image is not from Uttar Pradesh, but Gujarat, and it was captured during a raid at Asaram's ashram in 2009.
A picture of a policeman dragging a man by his hair is being circulated on social media, just ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, with a claim that it shows how saints were mistreated by the Samajwadi Party (SP), when Mulayam Singh Yadav was in power in the state.
However, we found that the image was not from Uttar Pradesh, but Gujarat, and that it was captured during a raid at the ashram of self-proclaimed godman Asaram, who was convicted of raping a minor.
The claim alongside the image reads: "हमारे संतो का बाल पकड़ कर खिंचवाने वाला कोई जेहादी नही था,,,वो अखिलेश यादव का बाप था...याद है ना ?? [sic]"
(Translated: It was not a jihadi who pulled the hair of our saints, it was the father of Akhilesh Yadav...remember, right?)
WHAT WE FOUND
We conducted a reverse image search on TinEye, and came across an article published on the website of Asaram's ashram. But the article didn't exist anymore, and the link led us to an archived link of an article on Wayback Machine.
This article was published on 27 November 2009, and it carried the viral image.
The article stated that nearly 150 policemen had "struck the ashram", and had beaten up people.
As per an NDTV report published in November 2009, the Gandhinagar police in Gujarat had raided the ashram of Asaram, who is currently serving a life sentence at Jodhpur Central Jail, in connection with the rape of a minor girl.
The report also mentioned that the police had arrested nearly 200 people, and that a few of Asaram's followers who had attempted to escape were beaten up.
We also came across a bulletin on Aaj Tak which showed the visuals of the raid.
Further, we found a video uploaded on the official YouTube handle of the ashram that carried visuals of the said raid, and concluded that they were similar to the viral image.
Evidently, an old image from Gujarat was falsely linked to Uttar Pradesh to take a dig at the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government in the state.
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