2022 video of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath resurfaces after encounter of gangster's son

By: Rohith Gutta
April 17 2023

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2022 video of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath resurfaces after encounter of gangster's son


The Verdict False

The video of Adityanath performing a religious custom during the Hindu festival of Holi has been misattributed to the recent encounter.

Claim ID 36b9c49a


A video of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath putting ash from the ground onto his forehead has been circulating on social media with the claim that he is smearing ash from the pyre of a slain police constable to pay his respects. 

The video appeared on April 13, 2023, shortly after Uttar Pradesh (UP) police killed Asad Ahmed, a man accused of murdering lawyer Umesh Pal, in an alleged encounter.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Pal was a prime witness in the 2005 murder of Bahujan Samaj Party Member of Legislative Assembly Raju Pal. Pal was provided with a security cover of two police constables, but was shot dead on February 24. The two police constables succumbed to their injuries later. One of the men accused of murdering Pal was Asad Ahmed, who was the son of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed. On April 13, 2023, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police shot dead Asad Ahmed in UP's Jhansi, the Indian Express reported.

Shortly after, a user named ‘Dhiraj Mishra’, who has a blue tick on Twitter, shared a 30-second video of Adityanath putting ash on his forehead from the ground, claiming he did so after attending the funeral of one of the policemen killed in the February shootout. The video was captioned, “This is called Justice....@myogiadityanath ji all most shattered on constables death. I was expecting something similar to protect law and order in #UttarPradesh #YogiAdityanath #YogiKaNayaUP #Encounter #AtiqueAhmed #UPSTF (sic).” The video has over 214,000 views and has been retweeted over 550 times. Similar posts have been circulating on other social media platforms over the past month.

However, Logically Facts has found that this video is not recent, but is at least over a year old, and is not related to the police constable’s death.

In Fact

The video was initally shared by verrified journalist Sameer Dixit on March 22, 2022, with a post written in Hindi, “This is the only difference between becoming a Hindu for a day, and a Hindu who always follows the tradition through his deeds and religion…#Yogi_Adiyanath applied ashes on his forehead after Holika Dahan…#Tradition (translated).”

A similar search on Facebook yielded the same video shared by a page named ‘SPEED Media Network’ on March 23, 2022, with the caption written in Hindi “Yogi Adityanath applied ashes to his forehead following the rites after Holika Dahan.” Holika Dahan is a ritual observed during the Hindu festival of Holi where people congregate near temples, open spaces, grounds etc., and light bonfires to symbolize the victory of good over evil. One of the customs is to smear the ash from the bonfire on one’s forehead (know more about the religious festival here).

The Verdict

A 2022 video of Aditynath putting ash on his forehead has been circulated with the false claim that he was doing so after the funeral of a police constable killed in February 2023. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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