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'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.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
'Saint' Dragged by UP Police on Mulayam Singh's Order? No!
i

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.

CLAIM

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?)

You can view the archived version here.

(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

Several social media users shared the image on Facebook and Twitter, and the archived versions of the posts can be viewed here, here, here, and here.

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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.

This article was published on 27 November 2009, and it carried the viral image.

(Source: Archived link of the article/Screenshot)

The article stated that nearly 150 policemen had "struck the ashram", and had beaten up people.

An archived version of the article published in 2009 had the viral image.

(Source: Wayback Machine/ Screenshot)

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.

Left: Viral image. Right: Visuals from the 2009 raid.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

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.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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