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A photograph which shows a woman hanging from a tree in a village is being circulated on social media with the claim that she was raped and murdered by a Muslim man.
"It is heard that an 8-year-old girl from Sapotra, Rajasthan was raped by Naseer Khan after which the body was hung from a tree (Translated to English)" reads the caption of the posts.
The viral posts also identified the woman as a person belonging to the Dalit community.
यह कोई प्रियंका या निर्भया के जाती की लड़की नहीं है जो,देश में मिडिया में नेताओं में आक्रोश होगा चैनल में डिबेट होगा।क्यू कि यह दलित की बेटी है गज्जुपुरा के तुरसंगपुरा सपोटरा राजस्थान कि घटना बलात्कार के बाद हत्या कर शव पेड़ से लटका दिया गया— राजेश सोनगरा राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष & संस्थापक DARYS (@DARYS_Songara) June 22, 2020
अपराधी को कड़ी सज़ा हो@PoliceRajasthan pic.twitter.com/m8Z9lgXKTH
A Muslim man, Naseer Khan, raped and murdered a Dalit woman.
The claim is misleading. A Google reverse image search led to a news report by Best Hindi News on Daily Hunt, which carried a Facebook post from a year ago. This post also shared the viral photo.
Therefore, the photograph has been on the internet since 2019 and the incident seen in the photo is not recent. According to the report, a girl was killed in Tursangpura, Sapotra, Rajasthan. Her bound body was found hanging from a tree.
Based on this information, a keyword search was done which led to a report by Hindustan Times, published on June 22, 2019. The report identified the woman as Pooja Meena who was 19 years old at that time. The viral posts had claimed that the victim was eight years old.
According to the police, the victim was allegedly strangled first and then hung from the tree at the Bapoti village. Her body was discovered when some people passed through the area and saw the body hanging from the tree.
She was identified after the police passed the picture of the woman among locals. "The locals informed us about a body hanging from a tree after which police reached the spot along with a team of forensic experts and collected evidence. Deceased's father has alleged that some unidentified person abducted her, raped her and then killed her," Station house officer (SHO) of Sapotara police station Bhanwarlal Boonkar was quoted as saying.
"As per the doctor's report, she was strangled first. Prima facie it appears that in order to misguide the police, the accused hanged the body from the tree so that it looks like suicide. Moreover, the feet of the deceased were touching the ground, which indicates that she was hanged later," he added.
Reportedly, Mahendra was in a relationship with the woman. The police had arrested him a few days after the incident. He had killed her in order to hide the affair. Therefore, contrary to viral claims, the incident occurred a year ago. The communal claims surrounding the incident are baseless and factually incorrect.
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