Social media has been abuzz lately with users circulating a picture of a man who apparently came to the rescue of a girl being sexually assaulted in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur. The claim adds that he sustained three bullets injuries while trying to save her. Professor Neeran Gautam tweeted an image with this claim. (archived link to the tweet)

Another Twitter user named Kamaljeet Singh shared a picture of an injured man lying on a stretcher with the same claim.

In addition to these two images, a third picture of the injured man is also being shared with the viral claims across Twitter and Facebook.

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Alt News performed a keyword search and found that no such incident has recently been reported from Shahjahanpur. In fact, the viral claim was debunked by Shahjahanpur Police’s official Twitter handle on October 14, 2020. “Some people on social media have been spreading misinformation by posting a photo and claiming that a brave Sikh rescued a girl in Shahjahanpur during a journey and was shot by her attackers,” reads the tweet. The police stated that the message was merely a rumour.

Alt News performed a reverse image search of the injured person’s photo and came across a report by Punjab Kesari from March 14, 2019. The article identified the man as Chetan Singh, president of the Patiala (rural) unit of the Aam Aadmi Party. According to the article, some people were trying to force a girl into a car in the Patti assembly constituency. Singh was at the scene and sustained injuries while trying to defend her, as some of the attackers opened fire at him. He was immediately admitted to a government hospital by villagers and was later shifted to a hospital in Tarn Taran when his condition deteriorated.

The incident was covered by The Times of India in a March 15, 2019 report. It quotes IGP Surender Pal Singh Parmar as saying that the girl had come from Harike to get her Aadhaar card when six miscreants attempted to abduct her. Chetan Singh was at the scene and rescued the girl. He sustained a bullet wound on his neck during the tussle.

Apart from this, AAP MP Sanjay Singh tweeted this picture of Chetan Singh on March 14, 2019, demanding the Chief Minister of Punjab to take action at the earliest. Sanjay Singh’s tweet was also quote-tweeted by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

It is worth noting that none of the media reports claims Singh killed any of the attackers.

Therefore, neither is the image in question from Shahjahanpur nor is it recent. These pictures show AAP leader Chetan Singh, who was injured while protecting a woman from sexual assault in Punjab’s Patti. The photos were circulated with the false claim that Singh had killed two people while trying to defend the girl.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.