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Fact Check

Video Does Not Show Farmers Crossing Barricades To Reach Delhi

BOOM found that the video is from early February and shows a demonstration in Sangrur, Punjab, against the arrest of influencer Bhaana Sidhu.

By - Hazel Gandhi | 16 Feb 2024 9:54 AM GMT

A video showing some people going past a police barricade on a tractor is viral online that they are farmers marching to Delhi as part of the ongoing farmers' protest.

BOOM found that the claims are false, the video predates the ongoing farmers' protest and shows a demonstration at Sangrur, Punjab, against the arrest of influencer Bhaana Sidhu.

Farmer organisations from several states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have organised the Delhi Chalo march and have begun their journey to protest outside the Parliament House. Their demands include a law guaranteeing the Minimum Support Price (MSP), waiver of farmers' loans, and justice in the Lakhimpuri Kheri violence. Amid multiple rounds of talks between the farmers and Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai, usage of tear gas and barricades have been reported at various places to restrict protestors from entering Delhi.

A video showing several people sitting atop a tractor as it drives past a police barricade is viral online as a video of farmers making their way to the Delhi Chalo protest. A caption on X reads, "🇮🇳Indian farmers plow through roadblocks as police attempt to prevent protestors from reaching Indian capital."




Click here to view the post and here for an archive. 

Srinivas BV, National President of the Indian Youth Congress shared a longer version of the viral video with the caption, "Your city's stomach grows from the soil of my fields. My innocent village is still entangled in instalments. They feel that if they stop the farmers by entangling them in the hoax of 'Bharat Ratna' and barbed wires and barricades, then their pride is going to be broken again."




Click here to view the post and here for an archive. Similar posts were also made by other Congress-affiliated accounts including Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress and Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress.

The video is also being circulated on Facebook.



FACT CHECK


BOOM found that the video is from an unrelated protest in Sangrur, Punjab against the arrest of influencer Bhaana Sidhu and predates the farmers' protest. 

Upon close examination of the video shared by Srinivas BV, we found that a man at 1:15 mark was heard saying 'Sangrur', which is the name of a district in Punjab. Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search for 'Sangrur Punjab protest' on Google and found a report published by Hindustan Times on February 3, 2024. According to this report, hundreds of farmers and supporters of social media influencer Bhaana Sidhu carried out a protest against the Punjab Police for Sidhu's arrest.

The protestors aimed to march to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's residence in Sangrur, and staged a sit-in protest on the the Bathinda-Chandigarh national highway. 

Taking a cue from this, we ran a search for 'Bhana Sidhu protest Sangrur Punjab' and found a YouTube video by local news channel GEMM TV shared on February 3, 2024. The video was titled 'Bhana Sidhu Protest I Lakha Sidhana I Punjab Police I Sangrur' and carried visuals similar to the viral video.

Below is a comparison between the viral video and the original video by GEMM TV.



The video by GEMM TV was shared on February 3, 10 days before the farmers in Punjab began their march to Delhi.

A further search using Punjabi keywords led us to several Facebook videos that carried similar visuals shared on February 3.

Bhaana Sidhu's Instagram account also shared a portion of the viral video on February 3.



According to The Indian Express, speculation was rife that Bhaana Sidhu was targeted for his criticism of the Aam Aadmi Party government. He was booked under several charges for extorting, threatening, and abusing the owner of an immigration firm. The Express report mentions that Sidhu had used his wide reach on social media for activism, where he allegedly video called immigration agents accused of duping people and asked them to return their victims' money back. After almost 14 days of arrest, Sidhu was released from jail on February 13.