An old and unrelated photo from Rajasthan showing a group of protesters burning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flags is being shared with the false claim that Brahmins are protesting in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh against the party.
The photo is viral in the backdrop of upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. UP goes to polls this year, with the ruling BJP and opposition parties including the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Congress being the front contenders. BOOM has debunked several pieces of misinformation relating to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The photo is being shared with the caption in Hindi that translates to, "In front of BJP office in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh, Brahmins appealed not to vote for the BJP and burnt BJP flags."
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(In Hindi - उत्तर प्रदेश के देवरिया जिले में #भाजपा कार्यालय के सामने #ब्राह्मणों ने #भाजपा_के_झंडे_जलाकर भाजपा को वोट न देने की अपील की।)
The same photo is also being widely shared on Facebook with the false claim.
BOOM found that the viral photo is from November 2018 in Kotputli, Rajasthan, in the run-up to the assembly elections, when supporters of a local BJP leader had protested against the party for denying a ticket to their leader to contest the polls.
Search results using a reverse image search showed that the photo has been circulating since then. In fact the same photo was also tweeted by Congress leader and self-styled spiritual guru Acharya Pramod in July 2020, with the same false claim.
We then looked at the replies to the tweet, where we spotted several users pointing out that the photo is from November 2018 - citing a report from Danik Bhaskar. The same viral photo can be seen in the article.
The headline of the article dated November 20, 2018, when translated reads, "Zila News: On Monday, when Mukesh Goyal's name appeared in the BJP's fifth list on the Kotputli seat, then the rebel candidate Hansraj Patel..."
Danik Bhaskar reported that the incident had taken place on November 20, 2018, in Kotputli, Jaipur district, Rajasthan when Hansraj Patel, a local BJP leader, was denied a ticket for the 2018 assembly elections and the party had fielded BJP leader Mukesh Goyal instead. It adds that supporters of Patel protested against the party by burning effigies of BJP leaders and the party flag.
We also found a video news report by a local outlet on the incident. The video report is dated November 21, 2018, and has the same visuals as the viral photo. The title when translated reads, "Banners of BJP party burnt by supporters of Hansraj Patel, who rebelled against BJP". The same location and protesters can be seen in this report.
A comparison of the viral photo with the original photo shows both are the same.
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