Congress Leaders Share Unrelated Pic of an Injured Man as Farmer in Karnal
The photograph shows Tinku, who was injured after his vehicle flipped during a cow-smuggling case in Gurugram.
Following the recent lathi-charge against protesting farmers in Haryana’s Karnal, a photograph of a person’s partially shaved head with stitches going across it, went viral on social media.
The photograph of the injury was shared claiming to show the head of one of the farmers at the site of the protest.
However, we found that the photograph was from an incident in Gurugram, Haryana where a few ‘gau-rakshaks’ or 'cow vigilantes' were attacked after they tried to intercept a vehicle under suspicion of cow smuggling. Four people, from the Manesar branch of the Hindutva outfit Bajrang Dal, and one cow, were injured during the conflict.
The photograph was widely shared across social media platforms, with different text accompanying it, all claiming that it showed the head of a farmer injured in the police’s lathicharge. Some versions named the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ayush Sinha, and held him responsible for the incident.
At the time of writing this article, this post by 'Delhi University Jat Students Union' Facebook page was shared more than 900 times.
The photograph was also shared by the Indian National Congress Minority Head Imran Pratapgarhi, spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, and the Congress’ official Twitter accounts for different states. All accounts later took down their posts. Their archived versions can be seen here, here and here.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using reverse image search, we came across many posts on Facebook and Twitter.
The replies we found under some of these posts indicated that the photograph was not related to the claim but was from another incident that occurred on 24 or 25 August.
In that incident, users said that an individual named Tinku, a cow vigilante, was injured after his group was attacked in Gurugram.
Jitender Sharma, a journalist with Zee News, also added the context of the image in a tweet.
As per these reports, the incident occurred on Wednesday, 25 August, when three cow vigilantes, Sunil Rawat, Rajbir Singh, and Tinku were seriously injured after following a vehicle they suspected was smuggling cows.
Adding the same keywords in Hindi with the reverse image search, we found a tweet dated 29 August by one Monu Manesar, which stated that the person in the viral photo was named Tinku, and was a part of his team at Bajrang Dal’s Manesar wing.
We then contacted Tinku, the person in the viral image, who told us that he was injured on 25 August, when his teammates were waiting to follow a vehicle that they suspected of smuggling cows.
He told us that Monu bhai had registered a First Information Report (FIR) in this case. Tinku added that he had registered a case at Sector 65 police station regarding the misuse of his photo.
The Quint then spoke to Monu, who told us that the incident occurred in Sector 56, near Ullawas village in Gurugram. When asked about more details, Monu shared a copy of the FIR with us, along with photographs of a now-recovering Tinku.
As per the FIR registered on 26 August, three vehicles were following a pick-up truck on 25 August, as they had prior information that cows were being "smuggled in the truck". As one of these vehicles got close to the truck, a cow was thrown at the vehicle, damaging its side and injuring the cow.
Soon after, shots were fired from the truck and one vehicle with Tinku, Sunil and Rajbir swerved to avoid the bullets, but their vehicle flipped over, seriously injuring its occupants.
The photograph that is being shared across social media, shows Tinku’s head injuries after the attack.
Evidently, the photograph does not show an injured farmer following the police’s lathi-charge in Karnal. It is of Tinku, a cow vigilante from Bajrang Dal, who was injured in Gurugram, Haryana on 25 August, days before the attack on protesting farmers.
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