Old Photo of Farmers' Protest Shared as Recent Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat
The viral photograph was from a mahapanchayat held in Shamli in February 2021.
A photograph showing a huge crowd crowd is being shared by several social media users with the claim that it showed the recent Kisan Mahapanchayat held in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar on Sunday, 5 September.
However, we found that the photograph was actually from a Mahapanchayat held in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh on 5 February.
One Twitter user who shared the viral photo said, "मुजफ्फरनगर में "खेला होबे खेला"👍 मैदान ही छोटा पड गया धरापुत्रो की भीड से।".
[Translation: The (Khela Hobe) game will be played in Muzaffarnagar. The ground fell short for the crowd]
"Khela Hobe" refers to the campaign slogan coined by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) before the West Bengal Assembly Poll of 2021.
The image was used by National Herald in their story on the 5 September protest. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also shared the photo on his Twitter profile but didn't make a direct link to the Sunday protest.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse image search for the image and found that the same photograph was used by The Tribune in a report published on 5 February.
According to the report, the "thousands of farmers" had assembled in the Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh to protest against the three contentious farm laws passed by the Centre.
The report went on to say that the protest continued despite the local authorities denying permission and imposing Section 144 of the CrPC. The photograph was credited to news agency PTI.
We then checked the online archives of PTI and found that same image there, posted on 5 February.
The caption of the photograph said, "Shamli: Farmers in large numbers attend the 'Kisan Mahapanchayat', in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh on Friday, 5 February 2021".
It is, however, important to note that Sunday's Mahapanchayat did witness a huge crowd as well.
Evidently, a photograph from a Mahapanchayat held in February was shared by several social media users as the recent Mahapanchayat held in UP's Muzaffarnagar.
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