A photo is being shared on social media claiming that the photo depicts a Christian Pastor’s family being humiliated and publicly paraded naked for preaching in the Uttar Pradesh state of India. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photo showing a pastor’s family being publicly paraded naked for preaching the gospel in Uttar Pradesh.
Fact: The photo shared in the post shows a 2015 picture of a Dalit family protesting naked outside the Dankaur police station in the Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Alleging that police had refused to register a complaint of robbery, the Dalit family stripped themselves and protested against the inaction of police outside the Dankaur police station. The naked men and women in the photo were not punished for preaching the gospel and they do not belong to a pastor’s family. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.
On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, the same photo was found in an article published by India Today on 10 October 2015. The description of the photo states, “The Dalit family stripped to protest police’s alleged refusal to register a complaint of robbery.” This news article reported it is the visuals of a Dalit family protesting naked outside the Dankaur police station in the Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The protest was reportedly in response to the police’s alleged refusal to register a complaint of robbery.
Reporting the details of this incident, several news sites published articles in October 2015. They can be seen here, here, and here. As per the reports, Sunil Gautam, along with his family members, approached the Dankaur police station to lodge a complaint of robbery against his neighbour, Mahavir, with whom the family also had a land dispute. Alleging that police had refused to register their complaint, the Dalit family reportedly stripped and protested outside the Dankaur police station. The Dalit family was later arrested and booked for obscenity.
However, some other reports claimed that the Dalit family was severely beaten by the police and forcibly stripped naked. Dismissing these allegations, the station officer of Dankaur police station Praveen Yadav said, “We made all efforts to prevent them from doing this and even tried to cover them with their clothes. However, by the time women police officers managed to reach the spot they had already created a scene”. There are no reports about Sunil Gautam or his brother, seen in the photo, being pastors or that they were punished for preaching the gospel.
To sum it up, a 2015 photo of a Dalit family’s naked protest is shared as a picture depicting the persecution of a Christian Pastor’s family in Uttar Pradesh.