An image of an apparent report by UP Tak (a Lucknow-based media outlet from India Today’s ‘Tak’ cluster) is viral in which it is claimed that a Dalit woman is absconding after beheading six Muslim men who threatened her with rape and conversion. The incident allegedly happened in Hemantpur village in Varanasi’s Babatpur. The report also states that the relatives complained to the police several times, but the police neither gave the woman any protection nor took action taken against the Muslims.

Twitter handle @maheshyagyasain tweeted this apparent report and seemingly approved the woman’s alleged act. (Archive)

User @anamikasinghIN also tweeted the report and cited the incident as an example of feminine power. (Archive)

This image was shared by several others, including verified users. (Archives- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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This image has also been circulated several times on Facebook.

The viral image is also being circulated on YouTube. One can find instances here, here and here.

Fact Check

We found a notice tweeted from the official Twitter account of DCP Gomti Zone Commissionerate of Varanasi refuting the viral claims. The notice announced that some Twitter handles were posting ‘fake news’ about six Muslim youths being beheaded for threatening rape and conversion and that a Dalit Hindu girl was absconding. They further clarified that the news of six heads being recovered from Babatpur Kali Temple is also completely untrue. No such incident happened in Babatpur under police station Phulpur of Varanasi Gomti zone. The notice also mentions that legal action will be taken against those who share such posts.

We also found certain irregularities in the apparent report. To begin with, there are several mistakes in the ‘report’, starting from spelling errors to errors in sentence structures. We also noticed that there was a ‘close quotes’ towards the end of the text, but there was no ‘open quotes’. The errors/irregularities have been pointed out below:


Further, as the reader may notice, the report contains an image of policemen standing in front of a temple. It would be natural for us to assume that the picture, seemingly related to the incident in question, was clicked in front of the Maa Kali Temple in Babatpur where the Dalit girl is supposed to have offered the heads of the Muslim men she killed. But, we found that the temple in the picture is actually the Salori Temple in Allahabad, which is approximately 135 km from Babatpur. Below is a comparison.

Moreover, the image of policemen joined at the bottom of the temple photo is actually a file image used by The Indian Express several times in the past (1, 2). Below is a comparison of the two images.

Another thing to note in the viral image is the graphic at the bottom left corner. The graphic, seemingly an advertisement showcasing the key points of the Madhya Pradesh budget 2022-23, is actually more than a year old. This graphic was originally made by a Hindi media outlet called Webdunia and carries a watermark. This graphic was used by Webdunia in a March 2022 report titled, ‘MP बजट में कोई नया कर नहीं,13 हजार टीचरों की होगी भर्ती, कर्मचारियों का डीए 31 फीसदी बढ़ा‘.

Furthermore, no such report with the same headline is available on UP Tak’s website since June 13 (the date of the alleged incident). We were also unable to find any other news report related to this incident.

UP Tak tweeted a fact-check of this image, and wrote, ‘This fictitious news being spread on social media with the name (Logo) of UP Tak is completely untrue and misleading. Please do not pay attention to such misleading news. Varanasi Commissionerate has also denied this news. Police will take legal action against those who share such posts’. They also stated the same in a fact-check report.

Hence, the image of UP Tak report claiming that a Dalit girl beheaded six Muslim men who threatened her with rape and conversion in Babatpur is fake. According to police, no such incident was reported. UP Tak also clarified that it had not published any such report.

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About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.