2015 Image of Sri Lankan Artist Shared As Hathras Protester
The image is from Sri Lanka and could be traced back to 2015.
Image of a woman wearing a metal sheet as a sari, with barbed wire wrapped around it, is being widely shared on social media with a claim that she is protesting against the government over the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. However, we found that the image has nothing to do with the Hathras case and can be traced back to 2015. It was clicked in Sri Lanka, and the woman in the image is a Colombo-based visual artist Janani Cooray.
The aforementioned image is being shared with a claim which reads: “ये तस्वीर प्रधानमंत्री और केंद्र सरकार के मुँह पर करारा तमाचा है जिसकी गुंज सिर्फ भाजपाइयों को छोड़कर पुरे विश्व को सुनाई देगी भारत में बढ़ती बला'त्कार की घटनाओं को लेकर इस महिला ने अपने पुरे जिस्म को काटेंदार तार से लपेटकर ये संदेश दिया है कि इस सरकार मे महिला सुरक्षित नही है!”
[Translation: This image is a wake-up call for the Prime Minister and the central government, and it will resonate in the entire world but not with those who still support the BJP. Due to the rising number of rape cases in India, this woman covered her body with barbed wire to send a message that women are not safe in India.]
WHAT WE FOUND
A reverse image search helped us find a Sri Lankan blogpost from 2015 which carried the same image.
We followed this up with a Google search using keywords “metal dress with barbed wire Sri Lanka” and found a Facebook page called “Janani Cooray Art” which carried the same image clicked at different locations in 2016.
We then looked up Janani Cooray and found that she is a performance and visual artist based out of Colombo, Sri Lanka. According to her website, she had performed this art in Colombo in 2015.
Evidently, an old image from Sri Lanka is being shared on social media to claim that it is from the protests which have broken out over the Hathras case. This, however, does not take away from the fact that massive protests are being organised across the country by people to demand justice and stand in solidarity with the Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras village.
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