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Student Activist at Farmers’ Protest Misidentified as Amulya Leona

The girl in the viral image is student activist Valarmathi, who had visited Delhi for the 26 January farmers’ rally.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
Tamil Nadu-based student activist Valarmathi has been misidentified on social media as Amulya Leona.
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Tamil Nadu-based student activist Valarmathi, who went to the farmers’ protest at Tikri border in January, has been misidentified on social media as Amulya Leona, who was charged with sedition last year for shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans.

Several social media users shared a set of two images showing both the student activists and falsely claimed that the two women are the same.

CLAIM

The images were shared with the caption, “The same girl in Farmers protest .... Who raised Pakistan Zindabad in MIM meeting .... What is this connection ... Who are the forces behind this .... All the same faces seen in every Anti National protest ... (sic)“

You can view an archive <a href="https://perma.cc/DW34-WX3X">here</a>.
You can view an archive here.
(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)
You can view an archive <a href="https://perma.cc/X9GY-9555">here</a>.
You can view an archive here.
(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

The claim was also shared in Telugu on Twitter.

You can view an archive <a href="https://archive.st/archive/2021/2/twitter.com/vq3s/twitter.com/anushabinny/status/1357545299820961792.html">here</a>.
You can view an archive here.
(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)
You can view an archive <a href="https://archive.st/archive/2021/2/twitter.com/dxor/twitter.com/BJP4indo/status/1357526051870494723.html">here</a>.
You can view an archive here.
(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)
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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On a reverse image search we came across a reply by a Twitter user to another user who had shared the set of images with the same claim on 26 January.

The user stated that the image was not of Amulya but actually Valarmathi.

Student Activist at Farmers’ Protest Misidentified as Amulya Leona
(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)

Through keyword search of ‘Valarmathi farmers protest’ on Facebook, we came across the profile of student activist, Valarmathi Sums.

She had shared a post by the Anti Imperialist Movement on 26 January, carrying the viral image. The caption states that representatives from Tamil Nadu had gone to the farmers’ protest at Delhi from several groups, including the Student Uprising Movement for Social Welfare (SUMS) to which Valarmathi belongs.

Student Activist at Farmers’ Protest Misidentified as Amulya Leona
(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)
Speaking to The Quint’s WebQoof team, Valarmathi stated that the claim is “absolutely false.”

The student activist had visited Delhi’s Singhu and Tikri border for three days from 25-27 January along with a group of people.

“I am in the first photo, not Amulya. We had gone to Delhi for the 26 January farmers’ rally because we wanted to understand the issues by being directly on the ground and extend our solidarity. The picture was taken at Tikri border, and the man in the image is a close relative of Bhagat Singh, which is why we wanted to get a picture clicked.”
Valarmathi, Student Activist

We also came across several news reports, including The Hindu and The New Indian Express, on Valarmathi, as a student activist who was also jailed for protesting against the Salem-Chennai Green Expressway Corridor project.

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AMULYA LEONA – THE GIRL WHO CHANTED ‘PAKISTAN ZINDABAD’

On a reverse image search of the second photo, we came across a report by BBC, dated 21 February 2020, on Amulya Leona’s arrest in Bangalore.

Student Activist at Farmers’ Protest Misidentified as Amulya Leona
(Photo: BBC/Screenshot)

The student activist was arrested and jailed on charges of sedition and creating communal disharmony for raising a pro-Pakistan slogan at an anti-CAA event in Bengaluru on 20 February 2020, which was attended by AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Three months later, the 5th ACMM court granted Leona bail under the default provision CrPC 167(2), on 10 June.

We did not find any credible news reports of Leona’s presence at the farmers’ protest. Evidently, Valarmathi has been misidentified as Leona to make false claims.

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