On 17th September 2019, a Facebook user named “Dhananjay Paul” posted some pictures, captioned, “A baby thief was caught in Chas Bokaro main road, please be alert if you see such a woman”. In this post, we can see a woman sitting on the road. Sharing this post on social media, it is being claimed that this woman was caught stealing a child in Chas city of in Jharkhand.
We started the investigation by searching for news related to this incident, but we did not find any substantial news related to this incident. After this, we contacted ASP of Bokaroke, Bahman Tutti. He told us that “this incident is being spread wrongly on social media. The woman shown in the picture was mentally unwell. This woman was found by locals sitting outside the house of a stranger. When they asked her who she was, and why she was sitting there, she could not give a proper answer. Due to this, some people spread a rumor that this woman was stealing a child. After a while, the police of Chas area reached the spot. This woman is a resident of Chas and has been mentally unwell for almost 20 years. She forgot to take her medicine that day, due to which she left home at 5 a.m. in the morning and was wandering on the way.” At the same time, he (ASP Bahman Tuti) said that “this woman was not beaten up by the local people; she was handed over to the police. The police traced her family and handed her over to her son. He also said, “Most of the messages claiming child abductors in Jharkhand are false, people should be vigilant and should not spread false and misleading messages.”
After this, we contacted C.M. Singh, the SHO of Chas Police Station. He told us that “this incident happened 2-3 days ago. This woman was mentally unwell and has been taking medicines for many years.” On the night of the incident, she forgot to take her medicine and at 5am in the morning ended up wandering along the way and in a confused state she stood in front of the door of someone else’s house. Due to this, some people suspected her of being a child thief and this rumor soon spread in the area. This woman’s name is Sarita Prasad and she is a resident of Chas. She was later handed over to his son by the Chas police. Claims made on social media are false.”
After this, we contacted the family members of this woman. Her son Siddharth Shekhar Rai told us that “this incident happened 2 days ago. My mother is mentally unwell for 20 years and her medical treatment is going on in Bokaro General Hospital. She had forgotten to take her medicine that night and disappeared from home around 5-6 am. Around 11 am we came to know that my mother was in Chas police station after which we reached there and brought her home. “
Her son also sent us a picture of her. Looking at this picture, we can confirm that this is the same woman who is shown in the viral picture. You can see the comparison of this picture below.
Conclusion: After checking the facts, we confirm that the above claim made in the post is wrong. A mentally ill woman is being falsely accused of being a kidnapper.
Title:The picture of a mentally ill woman is being circulated on social media labeled as being a picture of a child thief.Fact Check By: Ruchika M