Photo from Odisha falsely shared as Andhra Pradesh politician assaulting a Dalit woman

By: Rohith Gutta
January 3 2024

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Photo from Odisha falsely shared as Andhra Pradesh politician assaulting a Dalit woman

Screenshot of the post on social media claiming that a TDP leader attacked a Dalit woman (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image is of a woman who was tied up to a pole and beaten up allegedly by her son in Odisha for reportedly stealing cauliflowers from his field.

Claim ID a16a5568

(Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of distressing visuals, and mentions of assault. Reader discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?

An image is being shared on various social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook with the claim that it shows a Dalit woman who was allegedly tied up and beaten up by Chintamaneni Prabhakar, a politician from the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. (The term Dalit refers to members of social groups historically marginalized in the Hindu caste society. The Dalits were called ‘untouchables’ and are still treated as such in many parts of India.)

The viral image shows an old woman tied up to what appears to be an electricity pole with ropes and her hands are fastened together with a piece of cloth. Archived versions of posts, mostly in Teulgu, sharing the image with the claim that it shows a Dalit woman beaten up by Prabhakar— former MLA from Denduluru, a constituency in the Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh, and a member of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)—can be viewed here, here, and here

Screenshot of an X post. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the photo does not capture an incident from Andhra Pradesh and is unrelated to the TDP leader. The incident is from a village in Odisha where a man allegedly assaulted his mother after tying her up to a pole.

What did we find?

A reverse image search led us to a report published by the news outlet Orissa Post on December 24, 2023. The report carried the viral image and stated that the incident took place in ​​Saraspasi village of Keonjhar district of Odisha. According to Orissa Post, on December 20, 2023, a 70-year-old woman was allegedly tied to a pole and beaten by her son on suspicion of stealing cauliflowers from his field. 

Logically Facts accessed the complaint filed by the woman on December 23, 2023, as well as the First Information Report (FIR) registered at the Champua Police Station, under whose jurisdiction the Saraspasi village comes. According to the FIR, the victim was attacked by her son on December 20, 2023, after which she was admitted to a hospital. The accused was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including those for voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint. 

Speaking to Logically Facts, Trinath Sethy, an inspector at the Champua Police Station, confirmed that the incident took place in Sarsapasi village and that the victim is not a Dalit, but belongs to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community. Attempts to reach the victim were not successful.

News outlets such as TV9 Bangla, TV Bharat Oriya, Deccan Chronicle, and India Today also published reports with the now-viral image relaying similar details.

Allegations against Prabhakar

Several allegations of assault and other crimes have been leveled against Chintamaneni Prabhakar throughout his political career. In early 2018, he was even sentenced to six months in jail regarding an assault case from 2011, however, the conviction was later suspended by the Hyderabad high court. In 2019, he was also booked for abusing and assaulting a Dalit man. According to his 2019 election affidavit, he stands accused in 27 cases and faces charges of assault, extortion, kidnapping, and murder among others.

However, the viral video has nothing to do with Prabhakar and the incident it captures has no link with the politician.

The verdict

A photo of an unrelated incident from Odisha was shared to claim that a TDP leader beat up a Dalit woman in Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, we marked this claim as false. 

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