Fact Check: Is This Man One Of Hathras Gang-Rape Accused & Congress Leader?
Writer: Aditi Chattopadhyay
Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.
Uttar Pradesh, 8 Oct 2020 1:04 PM GMT
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The Logical Indian Fact check team investigates the claim viral photos show Hathras gangrape accused who is also a Congress leader.
Posts are being shared with claim that one of the accused in Hathras gangrape and murder incident is a Congress leader. One of the photos in the posts being circulated is of a man in police custody and another photograph is of the purported accused paying tribute to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.. Viral claims suggest that a Congress leader was arrested as one of the key perpetrators of the alleged gang rape and assault of a Dalit woman in Hathras on September 14.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman from western Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, who was allegedly brutally assaulted and tortured by four upper caste men from her village, died nearly two weeks after the attack on September 29. She was fighting for her life in the intensive care unit of a government hospital. The incident took place on September 14 at a village in the district, some 200 KM from Delhi. Doctors at the hospital said that she had multiple fractures all over her body.
All four accused have been arrested and sent to jail under the charge of gang-rape and murder. Four upper caste men were identified as the suspects — Sandeep, his uncle Ravi, their friend Lavkush and Ramu. They were arrested last week.
"Sameer Khan. Uttar Pradesh congress Leader .This guy has spoiled a Dalit woman.Do you want to counter or not, " reads the caption of one such post.
Photos show Hathras gangrape accused who is also a Congress leader.
The claim is false.
A reverse image search of this photo led to a report by Punjab Kesari which was published on September 13, 2020 (a day before the Hathras crime).
Below is a translated version of the report:
The report stated that the incident is from Madhya Pradesh where Satna Police arrested Sikandar Khan, a local Congress leader after a minor lodged a complaint against him for sexually exploiting her in September of this year. A keyword search based on this led to a report by News 18 which said that Md Ali Ansari alias Sikandar Khan was arrested by police and booked under relevant sections of Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO).
Khan had reportedly filmed the heinous act and kept sexually exploiting the girl by repeatedly threatening her that he would circulate the videos. The girl also alleged that the man also wanted to push her into flesh trade and it was then that she decided to seek help from the police.
At a press briefing of the incident, Satna police revealed that the accused was operating under four names – Ateeq, Sameer, Sikandar and Ginny Khan. He also had, in his possession fake letterheads of BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, MPs Reeti Pathak and Ganesh Singh.
Further, the report also mentions that the accused was masquerading as a Congress leader and was in several instances seen with several Congress leaders.
Congress spokesperson Manak Agrawal, who is believed to be close to former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, stated that the man is not associated with the party and wasn't even a primary member of the party.
"Anyone can stand besides leaders and pose for photographs that don't mean they are connected to these leaders," Agrawal was quoted as saying.
The Logical Indian could not independently verify if Khan was affiliated to the Congress.
However, Maqsood Ahmed, district president of Congress Committee, Satna, distanced themselves from the accused.
"Sikandar Khan is not a leader, does not hold any post and is also not recognised as a party member of Congress. BJP tried to give the rape charges a communal twist by associating him with the Congress," BOOMLive quoted him as saying.
Regarding the poster where Khan's image can be seen along with Congress MLA Rajendra Kumar Singh from Madhya Pradesh, Ahmed said that these posters were released by Sikandar Khan during Rajendra Kumar Singh's birthday. He clarified that the "Congress party is not responsible for any personal relationship they share."
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Also Read: Fact Check: Doctored News Bulletin Claims UP CM Said 'Thakurs Tend To Make Mistakes" On Hathras Rape Incident