Photographs of an injured woman are circulating on social media. The images show her being beaten with a stick and one of the images shows policemen surrounding the woman. The images are from a 2016 incident in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. It has been alleged that a Samajwadi Party politician assaulted a young woman but he was not arrested due to pressure from the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
It is noteworthy that a female Samajwadi Party worker was recently molested during the panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh. Six police officers were suspended as a result. The police had also arrested one of the perpetrators and were on the hunt for the second accused. The Samajwadi Party has alleged that the BJP was not allowing its workers to file nominations and were tearing their pamphlets. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav had targeted the Yogi government over the violence in the panchayat elections.
BJP Uttar Pradesh state general secretary Priyanka Singh Rawat tweeted the photos, writing, “This was the Samajwadi Party’s hooliganism in 2016…In an incident from Mainpuri district, a Samajwadi Party leader had assaulted a girl in broad daylight while the police were silent spectators. This goon was not arrested due to political pressure from chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.” It amassed 2,647 retweets at the time of writing. (Archive link)
Archana Pandey, BJP MLA from Chhibramau in Kannauj district, also posted these pictures with the same claim.
So did Twitter user @Utmostultimate.
Alt News had fact-checked these photos in May 2020 when they were being falsely shared in connection with the anti-CAA protests. They are indeed from Mainpuri but the viral claim is misleading.
According to a ScoopWhoop article dated December 22, 2016, a woman was molested by some people in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. When she and her husband raised an alarm about what happened, the woman was thrashed badly. This incident occurred on December 19, 2016, when Vandana Tiwari and Ashwin Tiwari were asking a group of strangers for directions and Vandana was molested. The men made some lewd comments about Vandana and later tried to snatch her dupatta. According to NDTV, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested one individual in this case while the search was on for the rest.
Dainik Bhaskar had reported that inspector Laxman Singh of Kishni police station registered a case against Anand Yadav and two unknown people. Out of the three, the main accused Anand was arrested.
Alt News came across several other media reports covering the incident. But none of these mentioned that the accused in this case were associated with any political party.
To sum it up, pictures of a molestation incident from 2016 are viral on social media. These pictures were shared by BJP leaders and supporters targeting the Samajwadi Party. They alleged that when Akhilesh Yadav was in power, Samajwadi Party workers were brazenly engaging in violence against women.