Video of a group of men in saffron clothes is being widely shared claiming that this video shows the group of 28 sadhus who were caught red-handed while kidnapping the children and removing their kidneys in Varanasi. Similar posts can be seen here, here and here. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of 28 sadhus who were caught red handed while kidnapping children and removing their kidneys in Varanasi.
Fact: According to Varanasi Rural Police, on 01 September 2022, some sadhus were brought to the police station and interrogated after the villagers suspected them while asking for alms by roaming in Barangoan area of UP. All their names and address were verified, and no criminal history was found against them. Later they were released. The viral video is from Beera patti area under Barangoan Police station, not Varanasi Rural. Dainik Bhaskar also published this news in its website. Hence the claim made in the video is FALSE.
The description of the post mentions ‘@UPpolice’, which is the official Twitter handle of Uttar Pradesh police department. Taking a cue from this, we ran an advanced search on Twitter and found a tweet made by Varanasi Rural Police on 06 September 2022, replying to a Twitter user who posted the viral video. The post shows a video byte of Varanasi Rural SP Surya Kanth Tripathi along with a precautionary notice issued by Varanasi Police Social Media cell. The official Twitter account of UP Police also retweeted this post.
According to the police statement, “a video is going viral on social media platforms with a false claim that some sadhus were caught removing the kidneys of children in Varanasi rural area. But this news is false. On 01 September 2022 some sadhus were brought to the police station and interrogated after the villagers suspected them while asking for alms by roaming in Barangoan area. All their names and address were verified, and no criminal history was found against them.” The viral video is not of Varanasi Rural police station. In an interview with BOOM Live, the SHO of Barangoan police station confirmed that the visuals in the viral video are from Beera Patti area and the police constable seen in the video is his staff. He also added that, the sadhus seen in the video were asking for alms in the area, during which some people had assaulted the sadhus alleging child theft. When the police got information about this, the police reached the spot and saved those people from the crowd. A news report by Dainik Bhaskar regarding the same issue can be seen here.
To sum it up, an unrelated video is being shared with a claim that they 28 sadhus were caught while removing the kidneys of children in Varanasi.