Several social media users claimed that Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav was one of the 302 people who signed the petition to stop the capital punishment of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, 2008 Mumbai attack convict.
[Viral text: कसाब की फांसी रुकवाने के लिए जिन 302 लोगो ने याचिका पर साईन किया था, उनमें से एक अखिलेश यादव भी थे किन-किन भाई बहन को याद है या भूले गए ]
BJP Harayana social media head Arun Yadav posted this claim. This post was shared over 23,000 times.
Hindu Yuva Vahini Gujarat-in-charge Yogi Devnath also tweeted the claim and deleted it after gaining over 3,000 retweets (RT). Alt News has documented multiple instances where Devnath has posted misleading claims.
Several Twitter users have posted this claim — @BeingBihar_ (over 900 RTs), @I_Khushbo (over 2,000 like), @sarojni12345431 (over 200 RTs), @_S__Raj__ (over 200 RTs), @MeenaTarunYadav (over 700 likes).
Facebook accounts that gained high engagement on the claim are — महान हिन्दूस्तान (2,000 shares), यूपी मुख्यमंत्री रिपोर्ट कार्ड (7,500 likes), मोदी समर्थक ख़बर (4,500 likes), Search India (2,800 likes) अब मोदी है तो मुमकिन है (1000 like), Ek Bihari 100 Pe Bhari (2,300 likes).
Kasab, 25, was executed on November 21, 2012. The death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
A few weeks prior to his execution, Kasab’s plea for clemency was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 5, 2012. As per a 2012 report by The Indian Express, more than 203 people had signed a petition addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting a commutation of the death sentence.
Mumbai-based lawyer Yug Chaudhry had written to the President on October 28, 2012.
“In the first batch sent to the President, 203 people had signed the petition. About 15-20 more signatures were obtained in the second batch that was also sent to the President,” Chaudhry had told The Indian Express.
In a conversation with Alt News, he confirmed that Akhilesh Yadav was not one of the signatories to the petition. He further added, “I am not willing to answer any further questions on the topic because the signatories have been harassed enough.”
Several social media users including BJP leader Arun Yadav, therefore, falsely claimed that Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav signed the petition seeking pardon for Kasab’s death penalty.