The photo of an elderly woman taking part in the farmers’ protest has gone viral with a false claim that she is Bilkis Bano, or Bilkis ‘Dadi’ (grandmother) who rose to fame after her resilience in the wake of Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests was reported by local and international media.
However, we found that the woman in the photo was not Bilkis Dadi and the photo was also not of the recent protests against the Centre’s new farm laws.
A collage of two photos is being shared where one photo is that of Bilkis Bano from the Shaheen Bagh protests and the other is that of an old lady who is holding a stick and has a yellow scarf on her head.
Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut tweeted the same photo with a caption that read, “Ha ha ha she is the same dadi who featured in Time magazine for being the most powerful Indian.... And she is available in 100 rupees. Pakistani jurno’s have hijacked international PR for India in an embarrassing way. We need our own people to speak for us internationally. (sic)”
She has since deleted her tweet.
The viral photo has also been shared by Gaurav Pradhan, who has over 40,000 followers on Twitter and has been called out in the past for sharing misinformation.
The tweet had received over 2,500 likes and 1,000 retweets at the time of publishing this story.
The collage was also shared on Facebook by several users with similar captions.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The Quint contacted Bilkis Bano's son Manzoor Ahmad, who confirmed that the woman seen in the viral photo is not Bano and added that she is yet to participate in the farmer's protest march.
“The woman in the picture is not her, we are planning to join the protest soon, but she hasn’t visited the farmers yet.”Manzoor Ahmad, Bilkis Bano’s son
We then conducted a reverse image search of the second photo and found results dating back to 13 October. The same photo was uploaded on a Facebook page called “Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindrawale” on 13 October.
We also found the photo on another Facebook page called “Mera Gaon, Mera Swabhimaan”, which was also posted on 13 October, making it evident that the picture is not from the ongoing protests.
Further, the flag that the lady is carrying belongs to the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan). We found other photos on BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) Facebook page where female members can be seen wearing the same yellow scarf and marching.
The Quint wasn’t able to independently identify the woman in the photo, but it is evident that the two women aren’t the same and a false narrative is being created to discredit the protesting farmers.
Similarly, claims were made during the anti-CAA protests and The Quint had debunked them.
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