Twitter user @Balram_Ayodhya tweeted an image of a police officer pulling a man by his hair and wrote, “It wasn’t a Jihadi who was pulling our saints by their hair… it was Akhilesh Yadav’s father… remember right?”. Thus implying that the image is from Uttar Pradesh taken during Mulayam Singh Yadav’s tenure. This tweet was retweeted over 2,000 times.
हमारे संतो का बाल पकड़ कर खिंचवाने वाला कोई जेहादी नही था,,,वो अखिलेश यादव का बाप था…याद है ना ?? pic.twitter.com/B1BMIcqsoA
— महंत बलरामदास श्री हनुमानगढ़ी अयोध्या (@Balram_Ayodhya) December 5, 2021
Alt News performed a reverse image search on TinEye and found that the oldest instances of the viral image date back a decade.
The image was uploaded on Asharambapu Ashram’s official website, ashram.org. Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was sentenced to a life-long jail term by a special SC/ST court for raping a minor in 2013.
The article dates back to December 2009 and is no longer active. However, it can be accessed on Internet Archive. As per the article, the images show police brutality against members of the ashram on November 27, 2009. About 150 ashram followers were detained after clashing with the police in Gandhinagar.
The article includes multiple images in addition to the viral image.
The Times of India reported that police raided Asaram’s ashram in Ahmedabad’s Motera area on the same day.
Aaj Tak also reported this incident. It said that the police detained 200 members of the ashram during a raid after stone-pelting took place between the cops and the members of the ashram a day earlier.
The images were also posted on Diwala.com (the domain is no longer accessible). Even this article reported that the incident happened in Gujarat.
To sum it up, an image of a clash between a police officer and a supporter of Asaram in Gujarat was shared as police violence under Mulayam Singh Yadav’s regime in Uttar Pradesh.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.