No, These Photos Don’t Show BJP Workers Protesting in Bengal
Two pictures have gone viral on social media with users claiming that BJP workers are protesting and vandalising property in West Bengal at the behest of Amit Shah.
The message, which takes on a sarcastic tone, reads, "ये हैं भाजपा के सीधे साधे भोले भाले कार्यकरता जो एक स्वच्छ छवि वाले नेता "अमित शाह" के इशारे पर शान्ति पूर्ण तरीके से बंगाल में रोड़ शो कर रहे हैं !” (These are the naive workers of BJP who are peacefully holding a road show in Bengal on the orders of Amit Shah.)
The Quint received this video on its WhatsApp helpline, but the pictures had gone viral a month ago during the Lok Sabha polls.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The narrative accompanying the photographs is completely false. Neither are these pictures recent nor do they show BJP workers protesting in Bengal on the orders of Amit Shah.
However, it must be noted that there was violence in West Bengal as clashes broke out between the workers of BJP and TMC at Vidyasagar college ahead of Amit Shah’s roadshow on 14 May in Kolkata.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT?
IMAGE 1: NOT BENGAL BUT JAMSHEDPUR
A simple reverse search of the image using the InVid Google chrome extension showed that the picture is not from Bengal but Jamshedpur.
The reverse search led us to a photo gallery published by Hindustan Times in 2012 which features this photograph. The caption of the picture reads, “BJP workers damage a vehicle during Bharat Bandh called to protest against hike in petrol prices in Jamshedpur.”
Using Keyword “Bharat Bandh protest Jamshedpur May 2012” we also found out news reports which corroborated the fact that bandh was called by the NDA in wake of the petrol price hike back then.
IMAGE 2: BJP WORKERS PROTESTING IN UTTAR PRADESH
The second picture has also been shared with a misleading claim. There are a couple of things which give it away that it is not Bengal but another Indian state.
Firstly, the top left corner of the image shows a picture of the current Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Dinesh Sharma. Above the picture of the deputy chief minister the text reads “Setu Gomti”.
And, the right hand side of the picture shows some text which reads, “Vishal Pradarshan (Huge Protest)”.
We tried to look up for the picture online using these keywords and found out an article by The Hindu from 2010 which had reported that the BJP workers held a state-wide rally against price rise and corruption at the Jhule Lal park on the banks of river Gomti.
The report also reads that the BJP workers started pelting stones on the police when they were blocked by heavy police barricading.
Even senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh sustained minor injuries during the clashes.