An old image of a Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha worker, fighting with a policeman, has been falsely revived as a recent one, after the violence at the farmers’ rally on Republic Day.
The image can be traced back to 2014, when BJP’s youth wing protested against the deteriorating law and order in Uttar Pradesh, outside the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan at Lucknow. The party workers reportedly clashed with the police armed with wooden sticks and met with police batons and water cannons.
The image was shared by social media users with a caption in Punjabi, “The whole country should know. This is the truth,” suggesting that BJP was behind the violence on 26 January.
A user shared the image on Facebook, garnering over 35,000 shares at the time of writing this article.
The image was also shared by Manish Jagan Agrawal, the Digital Media Coordinator of Samajwadi Party, without the full context.
The Quint also received a query regarding the image on its WhatsApp helpline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search led us to an article by One India, dated 30 June 2014, carrying the image. The article stated that BJP youth workers had staged a protest in Lucknow against the ruling Samajwadi Party.
With a relevant keyword search, we found an article by The Telegraph also dating back to 2014, carrying the image with the caption, “A BJP activist fights with a policeman during the protest outside the Assembly in Lucknow on Monday.”
We also found the image on news agency PTI’s archives, with the caption, “A BJP Yuva Morcha activist engaged in stick fight with a policeman during a protest outside Vidhan Bhawan in Lucknow on Monday.”
The picture was taken by PTI photographer Nand Kumar.
According to a report by The Times of India, the BJP workers had ‘run riot for more than two hours’ outside the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan while protesting against the “deteriorating law and order condition” in UP.
The party’s youth wing members, armed with wooden sticks, had clashed with the police, lobbed low intensity explosives and pelted stones. The police had retaliated with batons, water cannons and tear gas shells to ‘restore order.’
Three cases were lodged against BJP youth wing leader Ashutosh Rai and 1,000 workers for the riot, resulting in injuries to atleast 14 policemen and 24 party workers.
Evidently, an image from 2014 of a BJP worker fighting with the police in Lucknow has been falsely revived in the context of the ongoing farmers’ protest.