Recently, a photo of an elderly man, purported to be a Muslim cleric in Lucknow whose wife eloped with their neighbour, is circulating widely on social media. The accompanying message reads, “Ruksana, wife of Lucknow’s Haji Qadir Khan, a famous holy figure known for helping people attain love, eloped with their neighbour. It was only a few days ago that the shrewd neighbour had gotten a magical amulet made from Khan himself.” User Sandeep Mishra posted the image on a Facebook group called ‘JOIN RSS (संघ से जुड़ें)’.

This video is circulating against the backdrop of the assault on Abdul Samad Saifi, 72, in Ghaziabad’s Loni last month. The Uttar Pradesh police had filed a chargesheet against 11 people in the case. Footage of the incident that went viral on social media showed a group of men brutally beating Saifi and chopping off his beard. While several people have claimed that the attack was communally motivated, the family of the main accused Parvesh Gujjar alleged that Saifi was thrashed for selling amulets that brought them bad luck. Saifi has disputed this theory.

The image of a Lucknow maulvi has been sarcastically shared given the amulet theory in the Loni case. Facebook user Vishal Verma also shared the photo with the claim that the maulvi’s wife eloped with the neighbour for whom the maulvi had designed an amulet. (Archive link)

मनचाहा प्यार दिलाने के लिए प्रसिद्ध लखनऊ के मौलवी तांत्रिक हाज़ी कादिर खां की बेगम रुकसाना पड़ोसी के संग फरार हो गयी,…

Posted by Vishal Verma on Friday, June 18, 2021

The image is widespread on Twitter and Facebook.


A reverse image search led us to an NDTV story dated July 12, 2019, where the man has been identified as Haneef Afsar Azizi, a prominent cleric from Bengaluru. Azizi had been arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the famous IMA scam in Bengaluru. While he claimed that he had nothing to do with the scam, the investigating officers stated that the accused Mohammad Mansoor Khan had gifted a house worth Rs 3 crore to Maulana Haneef in return for money laundering services. The SIT also arrested five other people along with the Muslim cleric.

Therefore, a photo of a Muslim cleric arrested in connection with the IMA scam has been shared with a fictional story. There are no reports that suggest that a Lucknow cleric’s wife had eloped with her neighbour.

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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.