A 2018 photo of a woman holding a placard at a protest against attacks on journalists in West Bengal has been edited to falsely claim that it is recent and has slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The viral photo shows a woman holding an anti-BJP poster that reads, "No More HATHRAS! NO VOTE TO BJP! #NoVoteToBJP."
The mention to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh is a reference to the case of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped by four upper caste men on September 14, 2020, criticising the BJP which governs the state for the law and order.
West Bengal assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27, 2021, to April 29, 2021 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2, 2021.
The photo is being shared with the caption that reads, "NO VOTE TO BJP, clearly: NO Vote To BJP, Loudly: NO VOTE TO BJP #No Vote To BJP"
The protest was held on April 11, 2018, against attacks on journalists in West Bengal under the All India Trinamool Congress and in solidarity with photojournalist Biplab Mondal who was stripped and beaten in Kolkata while covering nominations for the 2018 panchayat polls.
A reverse image search showed results to the original photo uploaded on April 11, 2018, on the stock photo website Alamy. The text in the original picture reads, "Shut Camera" and the caption says, "A woman seen holding a placard during the protest. Hundreds of journalists protest against ruling party's alleged attack on journalists across Bengal during Panchayat nomination coverage. The rally started at Mayo Road Mahatma Gandhi Statue .and culminated at Dorina Crossing in Kolkata. Wearing black bands on arms and covering their mouths with black scarfs, hundreds of city's journalists, cameramen and photojournalists took part in the protest rally."
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We also found the same woman holding the same poster in other photos from the 2018 protest in Kolkata.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation in the run upto to the West Bengal elections with unrelated videos and photos being shared with false claims.
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