In the backdrop of the passage of controversial farm bills, an image is being widely circulated to claim that police forces are allegedly thrashing farmers who are protesting the farm bills.
However, the image is from 2013 when an officer was trying to control villagers during a clash with police in Khera village of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
Several Congress leaders including MLA Shakuntala Sahu shared the image with the caption: “मत मारो गोलियो से मुझे मैं पहले से एक दुखी इंसान हूँ..! मेरी मौत कि वजह यही हैं कि मैं पेशे से एक किसान हूँ..!”
(Translated: Don’t hit me by the bullets, I am anyway in distress..The reason behind my death is that I am a farmer by profession.)
NSUI National Secretary Satveer Choudhary also shared the image with the same caption.
Chhattisgarh Youth Congress, too, shared the image by taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The claim found its presence along with the image on Facebook too.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We found that The Indian Express had used the same image in an article published on 30 September 2013 and had credited the image to news agency PTI.
The article is headlined as: “Tense Meerut erupts, six hurt in clash with police at banned mahapanchayat”.
The image is captioned as: “An officer trying to control villagers during a clash with police on Sunday in Khera village of Meerut after defying prohibitory orders to hold a Mahapanchayat against slapping of NSA on BJP MLA Sangeet Som in connection with Muzaffarnagar violence.”
The image is dated 29 September 2013.
The Indian Express report had used the photo to indicate violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Khera, where the police had clashed with villagers at the venue of a mahapanchayat which had been banned by the administration, injuring at least six people.
RECENT REPORTS OF POLICE LATHICHARGING FARMERS
Farmer organisations led by Bharatiya Kisan Union, on 10 September, had blocked the national highway at Pipli in the Kurukshetra district of Haryana. The farmers were protesting the Centre's farm ordinances, now passed by the Parliament, which they say are "anti-farmer".
Police lathicharged when some farmers coming from Shahbad area pushed their way into the site of the rally. The agitating farmers also broke window panes of a fire brigade vehicle and pelted stones on the police.
The district administration finally relented and lifted the barriers outside the rally site to allow thousands of protesters to reach their destination.
The Quint’s WebQoof team had, in 2018, debunked the image which was then viral with a different claim.