A photograph of lifeless bodies of five children is being circulated on social media with two separate claims. The first one was brought to our attention by a user who submitted a verification request on the Alt News app. The claim suggests that the image was released by Rajasthan police and warns people of an active gang prowling in Rajasthan. The message alerts people to take care of their children.
The complete message in Hindi says, “राजस्थान में सक्रिय गैंग के सदस्यों के राजस्थान पुलिस द्वारा जारी किए फोटो जयपुर। ये है कच्छा धारी जो वर्तमान में यह गैंग राजस्थान में सक्रिय हैं। राजस्थान पुलिस द्वारा उनके फोटो डाले गए हैं। प्रशासन ने बताया कि सतर्क रहें सावधान रहें और अपने बच्चों को सुरक्षित रखें।”
A second claim, also shared in Hindi, was posted by Facebook user योगेंद्र यादव भैया जी. He has shared the image of the dead children in a set of four other photographs (in the screenshot below, the image has been covered by Facebook owing to the disturbing visuals). He claimed that child-kidnappers are lifting kids and selling their kidneys.
The full message circulated along with the above images says, “सभी जेलों में बंद सभी बंदी भाइयो से और उनके रिश्तेदारों से अनुरोध है जो ये बच्चो को अगवा कर उनकी किडनी निकाल कर बेंचने बाले को प्रशाशन जेल भेजता है उन मादरचोदों को जेल में ही दफना दें ताकि ये सबक रहे और ऐसा कुकर्म करने बालो में खौफ का माहौल पैदा हो
अगर प्रशाशन इन्हें गिरफ्तार करने की बजाय एकांत में ले जाकर ठोंक दे तो सोने पे सुहागा हो जाये.”
A simple Google reverse image search revealed that all five images have been shared with a false narrative.
The photograph showing lifeless bodies of children pertains to a 2018 incident that took place in Madhya Pradesh.
The incident was widely reported in the media. According to NDTV, the father of the children was married twice. He had four sons from the first marriage and another son from the second. All the five children were found dead in a well in Barwana district. The parents of the children were absconding and the police suspected that they might have a role to play in the death of the children who died due to drowning.
Images 2 & 3
We found that the second and third images of injured people depict an incident that recently took place in Madhya Pradesh. The trio, mistaken to be child-kidnappers, was attacked by a mob in Gwalior. The case was reported by Dainik Bhaskar on August 8.
The incident was also reported by Nai Dunia. According to the reports, a sadhu and two of his disciples were approached by two bike-borne men who accused them of being child-kidnappers. Soon after, a huge mob gathered and attacked the trio. They punched and kicked them when two cops from Bahodapur police station intervened. But the enraged mob also beat up the policemen who had to call for back-up. Only after more police personnel arrived at the spot that the mob was dispersed and the trio did not lose their lives to false accusations of being child-lifters.
The last image has already been debunked by Alt News in July. The image in question does not represent child-kidnappers but a sex racket gang that was nabbed in Madhya Pradesh.
The incident was reported by Patrika.
In conclusion, two unrelated images and a photograph of an incident where individuals were beaten on false suspicions of being child-lifters were shared to falsely claim that child-kidnappers are on a prowl and are lifting children to sell their kidneys.
Alt News has debunked earlier cases of similar rumours in the video posted below.
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.