An image of a person standing behind the Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav goes viral across social media. The image is being circulated with the claim that the highlighted person is one of the accused who shot down gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed.
On April 15, 2023, Atiq Ahmed was killed with his brother in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, while being taken for a medical examination. The three assassins, posing as media persons, identified as Sunny Singh, Lavlesh Tiwari and Arun Maurya, were apprehended immediately.
The image shows SP leader Akhilesh Yadav standing amidst a crowd of people. One of the persons in the background is highlighted in red.
The image is shared by user with the claim, “Breaking news the both the killers have been identified, they both belongs from samajwadi party. As per reports #AtiqueAhmed and his brother know many black things about samajwadi party. Akhilesh yadav with help of his party people killed him. Now we know who is real killer.”
It is being widely shared on Facebook and Twitter with a similar claim.
The claim was circulated in a report published by the website Indus Scrolls.
We ran a reverse image search on the viral image, which led us to the original photo tweeted by Akhilesh Yadav on April 13, 2023.
After referring to media reports, we learnt that the image was captured during his visit to Khargone, Madhya Pradesh. ABP News reported on April 13, 2023, that Yadav had visited Khargone to pay floral tributes at the statue of the late Subhash Yadav, who was a senior Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
We then conducted a keyword search taking a cue from the event. We came across a video report by the YouTube channel Voice of MP posted on April 14, 2023. In this video, we could examine the facial features of the person more clearly.
We then compared the person seen here with the arrested accused in the Atiq Ahmed case. The three people accused of killing Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed were identified as Lavlesh Tiwari (22), Mohit alias Shani Purane (23) and Arun Kumar Maurya (18) in an FIR by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
There is no similarity between the accused and the person highlighted in the viral image.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team then reached out to a Samajwadi Party member who informed us that the person highlighted is Youth Congress leader Rajkumar Yadav.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team reached out to Shailendra Singh Thakur, a Sehore Youth Congress leader. He confirmed that Yadav was the person highlighted and denied the viral claims regarding his alleged involvement in the assassination of Atiq Ahmed.
We also reached out to Yadav who said, "It is my photo. I am the Sehore IYC President। The picture was clicked on 13 April in Khargone district in Madhya Pradesh. Akhilesh Yadav was also present to pay his respects to the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Subash Yadav. We paid respects to his statue.”
The Logical Indian Fact Check team also accessed the images of Yadav from the event. We are able to confirm that the person in the accessed images and the viral image is the same.
Image accessed by The Logical Indian fact Check team
We found that the viral claim alleging that SP leader Akhilesh Yadav was pictured with the persons who gunned down Atiq Ahmed is false. The persons are members of the Indian Youth Congress who are falsely shown as accused in the case of Atiq Ahmed.
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Also Read: Media Outlets Misreport Deceased Gangster-Politician Atiq Ahmed “Saving” UPA Govt In 2008 Trust Vote