A 19-year old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. She succumbed to injuries on September 29. Since then, there has been an outpour of misinformation on social media about the incident.

Recently, an image of Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, co-founder and national president of Bhim Army, was shared claiming he was photographed with “Naxal bhabhi”. The image was uploaded on Twitter and Facebook along with Hindi text, “Who is this with Hathras sister-in-law? Do you get it…”

(Translated from ये हाथरस वाली भौजी के साथ कौन है कुछ समझे..!)

A Twitter user posted the image on October 13.

Dr Rajkumari Bansal from Jabalpur’s Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College was accused by certain media outlets of being a Naxalite and living with the Hathras victim’s family “posing as a relative”. Dr Bansal has refuted both claims and Alt News has also debunked misinformation related to “Naxal bhabhi”.

Azad’s photo with a woman claimed to be Dr Bansal was shared by Gaurav Pradhan who later took it down (archived link). In 2018, Alt News documented multiple instances of misinformation shared by Pradhan. He still frequently dishes out misinformation.

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Fact-check

Chandrashekhar Azad was at a rally when contacted by Alt News hence unable to attend phone calls. However, Bhim Army Delhi President Himanshu Valmiki recognised the woman in the viral image. “She is Kiran Yadav ji,” he told us, adding that Yadav has an active social media presence.

Hindi news-website Patrika reported that Yadav became a popular social media personality after her posts on politics and social issues went viral a few years ago.

On October 13, Azad told Bomlive, “This photo was taken sometime in 2019. I had gone to Ambala to visit Kiran Yadav’s family. The photograph was clicked in her home in Ambala. Kiran is like my sister and we are very close to each other. There are other pictures with Kiran’s sons as well.”

Alt News compared a photograph of Yadav taken from her Facebook profile and the viral image with Dr Rajkumari Bansal’s photo published by The Times of India. They have distinctive features — the shape of the nose and lips is evidently contrasting.

Thus, the social media claim that Bhim Army president Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan was photographed with Dr Rajkumari Bansal from Jabalpur Medical College is false. Earlier, a Congress member was claimed to be Dr Basal, dubbed as ‘Naxal bhabhi’, and a false claim also said that Priyanka Gandhi hugged Dr Bansal at Hathras victim’s residence.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian Collge of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel WION as a trainee journalist, international NGO S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer, and The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.