Several social media users are sharing an image of a body hanging on a tree with the claim that Trinamool Congress workers killed an 18-year-old man. The claim goes on to question TMC Leader Derek O’Brien’s recent visit to Hathras to meet the alleged gang-raped victim’s family.
However, the incident in question is not a recent one and dates back to 2018. An 18-year-old, allegedly a BJP member, was found dead in West Bengal’s Purulia district in May 2018.
The claim along with the photo reads: “ये पश्चिम बंगाल का एक 18 साल का लड़का त्रिलोचन महतो है। जिसका TMC कार्यकर्ताओं ने हत्या कर दी और उसके टीशर्ट पर लिख दिया 'ये भाजपा में शामिल होने का सज़ा है।' और आज TMC सांसद डेरेक ओ ब्रायन यूपी गए है कानून व्यवस्था पर ज्ञान छिलने। घिनौनी राजनीति देख रहे हो इनके?”
(Translated: He is West Bengal’s 18-year-old man Trilochan Mahato. TMC workers killed him and wrote ‘This is the punishment for being a part of BJP’ on his T-shirt. And today, TMC leader Derek O’Brien has gone to UP to give his knowledge on law and order. Are you seeing their pathetic politics?)
The tweet shred by user Arpita Jana had garnered over 7,500 retweets and 11,000 likes at the time of publishing the article.
Several social media users have shared the image on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We did a Google reverse image search and came across an India Today article published in 2018 that carried the same picture.
The article mentioned that the body of an 18-year-old was found hanging from a tree in West Bengal’s Purulia district. The BJP had then claimed that he was a party member.
Further, Home Minister Amit Shah had also tweeted the image in May 2018 wherein he mentioned that a young member was hanged on a tree “just because his ideology differed from that of state sponsored goons.”
The Quint, too, had reported about the incident in 2018. While the victim’s identity couldn’t be independently verified then, Amit Shah’s tweet claimed that the victim’s name was “Trilochan Mahato.”
The 18-year-old’s body was allegedly found with a note that read, “Associating with the BJP from the age of 18 is the reason for your death. I wanted to do this (kill you) since the elections, but I failed. Today, your life ends.”
The youth had gone to a place barely three kilometres from his village the evening before the incident and did not return home. He had called up his brother in the night and said that he was kidnapped and urged to be rescued, he said.
"We were informed by his family (about it) but despite searches throughout the night we could not spot him," a senior district police officer had said then.
While Shah had then alleged that the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal was behind the death, the TMC had termed the allegations as baseless and concocted.
Evidently, an old incident of a man found dead in West Bengal has been revived to claim that it’s a recent one.
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