Fact Check: Did RSS men attack an Imam in Lucknow?

The photos of a Muslim man, being said to be an Imam from Lucknow, have gone viral on social media along with claims that he was attacked by 'Sanghis-Bajrangis'.

Imam of Lucknow

The images show a bearded man with bandages on his head and arm, and clad in a blood-soaked undervest.

By appending the term 'Sanghis-Bajrangis', users on social media were implying that the alleged attack was carried out by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadre or its affiliates. The Imam’s name was said to be Hafeez Adnan.

However, the truth is far from what is being projected. On November 1, 2019, the Twitter handle of the Uttar Pradesh Police posted a piece of news that they had arrested one Suraj Prajapati, a 19-year-old resident of Barabanki, for entering the said Imam's house on the night of October 28 with the motive of robbery. When the Imam, whose real name is Abdul Mukim, woke up, Prajapati assaulted him and left him wounded. The accused reportedly owned up to his crime.

Thus, the photo being bandied around the Internet is actually from this case of attempted robbery that had no communal slant or motive. It goes without saying that the arrested culprit holds no affiliation to the RSS or any other right-wing Hindu groups.

The above-mentioned incident, hence, was just another case of Netizens abusing the power of the Internet to spread hatred and fake news.