On September 5, 2021, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh hosted the Kisan Mahapanchayat called by Bharatiya Kisan Union, an umbrella body leading the farmers' protest for the past several months.
Shortly afterwards, social media was flooded with pictures from the Mahapanchayat showing a sea of farmers who had streamed into Muzaffarnagar as a show of strength. However, social media users are also passing off some old pictures as the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat.
Sharing a set of the same images, a Facebook user wrote 'Sea of farmers at the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar. #KisanMahapanchayat #istandwithfarmers #FarmersProtest'.
View the post here.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted one of the viral pictures with a Hindi caption translating to 'standing fearless here! Bharat Bhagya Vidhata! #FarmersProtest'. The caption did not specifically mention Muzaffarnagar.
(Hindi: डटा है, निडर है, इधर है, भारत भाग्य विधाता #FarmersProtest)
The same picture was shared from several Twitter handles and Facebook pages with similar claims.
BOOM did a reverse image search on the two pictures and found that they are old and from different farmers protests held earlier this year.
A reverse image search on this picture took us to a report published in The Tribune on February 5, 2021. The report uses the same picture which is viral now with a caption reading 'Farmers attend a 'kisan panchayat' at Shamli inb Uttar Pradesh on February 5, 2021. — PTI'.
According to the report, the picture is from a Kisan Mahapanchayat held in February earlier this year at UP's Shamli district. The mahapanchayat was called by the Rashtriya Lok Dal against the Central government three Farm Laws.
We compared the image and found them to be one and the same. Check below.
A reverse image search on this picture led us to news reports and tweets from January/February earlier this year.
Congress leader Saral Patel had tweeted the same image on January 29, 2021 with a caption reading 'Kisaan Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar. This will.give sleepless nights to the emperor for the days to come. #IndiaVsPMModi'.
Another article published on the website HW news used the same image in a report titled 'Days After Muzaffarnagar, Kisan Mahapanchayat Organized In Jind District In Haryana'. The article was published on February 3, 2021.
The same image was used in a report published on the website Siasat on February 4, 2021 attributing the article to wire agency IANS.
Taking cue, BOOM did a keyword search and found the same image on IANS' website. The photo is captioned Muzaffarnagar Panchayat and dated January 29, 2021.
BOOM compared the IANS image with the viral image and found that the skyline of buildings and trees seen in the background are the same.
Below is a screenshot of the image published by National Herald on September 5, 2021.
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