An edited photograph of former Akali Dal leader Sucha Singh Langah has gone viral with a false claim that he is a farmer from the ongoing farmers' protest who had a condom packet in the upper pocket of his kurta.
However, we found that the Langah is neither a farmer leader nor was he seen carrying a condom packet. The photograph, which has been around since 2018, was altered to superimpose the photograph of the condom packet on his pocket.
The ongoing farmers' protest that started last year over the three contentious farm bills have faced a barrage of misinformation that have been debunked by The Quint's WebQoof team.
The photograph was shared with a sarcastic claim in Hindi that said, "जेब में आंदोलन के दस्ताबेज लेकर घूमता हुआ किसान".
"पहली पिक में जिस जेब को हाइलाइट किया है, दूसरी पिक में उसी को जूम किया है। आप भी आंदोलन जीवियों का किसानी कानून देख लीजिए जो ये लोग अपने साथ लेकर चलते हैं!!," the post added.
[Translation: Farmer walking around with the paperwork related to the farmers' movement in his pocket. The pocket highlighted in the first pick is zoomed in on the second photo. You can see the "farming law" that the protestors carry with them.]
WHAT WE FOUND
Upon conducting a reverse image search on the viral photo, we found a news report published in The Tribune from 18 August 2018. The report, which was headlined, "Langah asks Akal Takht to review excommunication", carried the same photo without the condom packet.
The photo from 2018 was much before the ongoing farmers' protest started against the three controversial farm laws.
A side-by-side comparison of the photo shows that it was the same one.
A closer analysis of the viral photo also shows that the image of the condom packet was on top of the second pen instead of being under it.
Langah, who is a former SAD leader, was also the Punjab state agriculture minister. In 2017, Langah was booked on the charges of rape, cheating, ransom, and criminal conspiracy after a video of him in a compromising position with a woman went viral.
He was ousted from the party after the allegations surfaced and was also excommunicated from the Sikh community by the Akal Takht. He has since been acquitted in a rape case as the prosecution failed to establish the allegations.
Evidently, an old photograph of a former SAD leader was edited and shared with a false claim that it showed a protesting farmer carrying a packet of condoms with him.