A screengrab from Dr Kafeel Khan's video on a tractor in Jaipur is viral on social media with a false claim that it shows the once jailed doctor posing at the farmers' tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day.
The image is viral in the backdrop of clashes that broke out between protesting farmers and police at the tractor rally held on January 26, in Delhi. Police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas as farmers breached barricade across the city's borders; a section of farmers breached the Red Fort complex.
The viral image shows Dr Kafeel Khan sitting on a red tractor in an open field.
The president of Indian Film and TV Directors' Association, Ashoke Pandit, tweeted a set of two images - Dr Kafeel Khan on a tractor and a screenshot of a report by Outlook India on Dr Khan. The caption of the tweet reads, "Meet the Oxygen thief of Gorakhpur, Kafeel Khan who is becoming a farmer and spreading chaos in Delhi today! Yogi's poles forgot this guy!" (Original tweet in Hindi: "इनसे मिलिए यह वोहि गोरखपुर का ऑक्सिजन चोर कफ़ील खान है जो आज किसान बनके दिल्ली में अराजकता फैला रहा है !योगी जी के डंडे यह बंदा भूल गया !#किसान_नहीं_आतंकवादी_है #किसान_नहीं_ये_गुंडे_है")
Dr Kafeel Khan, a pediatrician, was jailed for seven months, on charges of culpable homicide and negligence after more than 70 children died in August 2017 in a public hospital in Gorakhpur. Later he faced charges under a national security law for his controversial speech at an anti-CAA meeting in December, 2019. He was released from Mathura jail in August, 2020.
Archive of the tweet can be seen here.
Chayan Chatterjee, great grandson of Ashutosh Mukherjee, also tweeted the image along with a photo of Bindu Ammini. Archive can be seen here.
Netizens also accused Khan of being an 'Islamist propagandist.'
Archive of the tweet can be seen here.
The picture is also viral on Facebook with Bangla text that reads, ''This is the Uttar Pradesh infant's death accused, Dr Kafeel Khan. He went to the farmer tractor rally with his tractor, besides being a doctor, he is probably a farmer too.''
Archive can be viewed here.
BOOM checked Dr Kafeel Khan's profiles on social media and found a video uploaded on January 26 on his verified Facebook page and YouTube channel. We were able to ascertain that a still from this video has been captured and circulated on social media. At 00:17 second mark in the video, the frame that is being circulated on social media can be seen.
BOOM reached out to Dr Khan who informed that he was in a village, Langareeywas near Jaipur on January 25, the day the video was shot. Dr Khan said, "On January 25, I interacted with women working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in the village in Rajasthan. They told me about the challenges they are facing after COVID-19, as the government is not paying their due amount. Hence, they are demanding to increase their wages."
Khan further told BOOM that the video from this village was shot on January 25 where he was accompanied by a Rajasthan police sub-inspector, Tejpal.
BOOM spoke to sub-inspector Tejpal who confirmed his presence on January 25 at the Langareeywas village and that the video of Dr Kafeel Khan on the tractor was shot in front of him.
Dr Khan further sent BOOM images and videos from that day at the village near Jaipur which can be seen below.
Khan also told BOOM that on January 26, he was at a school Shaheen Academy in Jaipur where he hoisted the Indian national flag on the occasion of Republic Day. He said, "I have not visited Delhi in the past one month." He sent us images from the day at the school where he can be seen at the flag hoisting ceremony.
Dr Khan had retweeted videos from that day on his Twitter account , where he can be seen hoisting the flag on Republic day.
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