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This Photo Being Linked to Agniveer Protests Is More Than a Decade Old

The image predates the launch of 'Agnipath' scheme and can be found on the internet since 2008.

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WebQoof
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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)

An image showing the dead bodies of two men is being shared on social media with a claim that the two were army aspirants, who killed themselves in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur after the Centre launched the Agnipath scheme.

This comes amid the violent protests that have gripped the nation since the scheme was launched by the government. However, the Indian Army has notified that the recruitment under this scheme will begin on 22 July.

However, we could trace the image back to 2008. Several news reports linked the image to the farmers' suicide in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region.

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CLAIM

The caption along with the viral posts take a dig at the current government while stating that youths who were army aspirants in Saharanpur killed themselves after the centre launched the Agnipath scheme.

The image predates the launch of 'Agnipath' scheme and can be found on the internet since 2008.

An archived version of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Similar posts can be seen here, here and here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On conducting a reverse image search on Google, we came across a blog post from August 2008, titled 'My journey through Two India’s (July – August 2008).'

The blog carried the same viral image and stated that the farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are taking their own lives.

The image predates the launch of 'Agnipath' scheme and can be found on the internet since 2008.

Image was found in 2007's blog.

(Source: Screenshot)

We also came across another article by a Hindi news channel India TV published on 13 September 2012.

The article carried the same photo and mentioned that heavy rain in the region damaged the cash crops leading the farmers to kill themselves.

Next, we conducted a reverse image search on TinEye and found out that the first was also used by a website named Kalachuvadu.com on 16 April 2008.

The image predates the launch of 'Agnipath' scheme and can be found on the internet since 2008.

The image was used in 2008.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Maharashtra has recorded more than 2,000 farmer suicides in 2021 with over half of deaths coming from the Vidarbha region. Debts, loss in cash crops due to weather and other financial issues drive these farmers to take their own lives.

While we have not been able to independently verify where this image is from but the fact that it has existed on the internet since at least 2008, which makes it clear that it is not linked to the ongoing protests.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Maharashtra   Farmers suicide   Vidarbha 

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