Fact-Check: Old Image Shared as ‘Police Stamping Over a Wrestler's Face’

The picture dates back to January 2021 and is unrelated to the wrestlers' protest.

3 min read
Fact-Check: Old Image Shared as ‘Police Stamping Over a Wrestler's Face’
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(Trigger Warning: Disturbing visuals)

An image which shows a person wearing khaki pants and stamping another person's face under their boot is going viral on the internet.

What are users claiming?: The image is being shared with users linking it to the detention of wrestlers who were marching towards the new Parliament building on Sunday, 28 May.

An archive of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

At the time of writing this report, the tweet had garnered more than 27,000 views. (More archives of similar posts can be found here and here.)

Several other users (archive here and here) have even claimed that it shows police personnel crushing wrestler Sakshi Malik's face.

What is the truth?: The image is old and unrelated to the wrestlers' protest.

  • It dates back to January 2021 and reportedly shows police personnel pinning down a person named Ranjit Singh during the farmers' protest at Singhu Border.


How did we find out?: A Google reverse image search led us to a report published in the Times of India, which carried the same picture.

  • It mentioned that the police personnel crushed a man named Ranjit Singh's face under their boot.

  • According to the report, the incident took place at Singhu Border.

  • It said that Singh allegedly attacked the Station House Officer (SHO) with his sword and injured him.

  • Along with Singh, 43 other people were arrested by the police under various sections.

The report was updated on 1 February 2021.

(Source: Times of India/Screenshot)

  • A similar report was published on News 18 dated 31 January 2021 added that villagers clashed with protesting farmers. The situation worsened and several people, including a police officer, was injured.

  • The report carried a similar photograph which was attributed to Press Trust of India (PTI).

  • We found the same picture while going through the archives on PTI's website.

It can be seen that the image was uploaded on 29 January 2021.

(Source: PTI website/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

What happened on 28 May: The wrestlers protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar planned to take out a march towards the new Parliament building. However, they were detained by Delhi police.

  • The visuals of wrestlers being detained have sparked an outrage on social media platforms.

  • While some users have criticised the police, others have targeted the wrestlers.

Conclusion: It is clear that the image of a policeman crushing a man's face under his boot during the farmers' protest is being falsely linked with the recent detention of wrestlers by Delhi police.

(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 and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Fact Check   Webqoof   Wrestlers' Protest 

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