Image of Farmers With a Modified Car Viral as ‘Mercedes G-Wagon’
The car seen in the aforementioned image is a modified Gurkha by Force Motors which costs around Rs 10 Lakh.
Image of protesters sitting on and around a jeep with Mercedes logo is being widely shared on social media with claims that it is from the ongoing farmers’ agitation where protesters own expensive cars like the Mercedes Benz which costs over Rs 1.5 crore. The image is viral with multiple claims mocking the protesters for their financial status.
However, we at The Quint found that the car seen in the aforementioned image is a modified Gurkha by Force Motors which costs around Rs 10 lakh.
Several versions of the claim insinuating that the farmers protesting the new reforms are rich landlords who want to evade taxes, are doing the rounds on different social media platforms.
A tweet by journalist Kanchan Gupta which carried this image had over 2,400 likes at the time of filing this report.
WHAT WE FOUND
We ran a reverse search on the viral image and found a tweet by a user called Jashanpreet Singh who had credited the image to ‘theharrierhawk’.
We reached out to Jashanpreet to get details of the photographer or the owner of the car in the viral image. He directed us to the Instagram profile of the car owner Manpreet Singh, where we found several other images and videos of the car where its number plate is visible.
Next, we searched the VAHAN website of the Government of India with the car number PB12Z8282 and found that the vehicle is a SUV GURKHA by FORCE MOTORS Ltd.
Next, we searched if a Force Gurkha can be modified into Mercedes G-Wagons and found several blogs on the subject stating that the modification costs Rs 6.5 Lakh, approximately.
We also looked for the price of Force Gurkha and found that it ranged from Rs 9.75 Lakh to Rs 13.30 Lakh for different variants.
Clearly, an image of protesters sitting around a car with a Mercedes logo was shared without verification to take a dig at the financial status of the farmers.
This is just of the many fake news stories debunked by The Quint’s WebQoof team, which were aimed at discrediting the ongoing agitation by farmers across north India. You can read our fact-checks here.
(We have reached out to Manpreet Singh, the owner of the car in the viral image. This story will be updated as and when we hear from him.)
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