A two-year-old photo from Badaun district, Uttar Pradesh showing a group of police personnel patrolling an alleyway with two men wearing saffron stoles, is being shared with a false claim that it shows Delhi Police escorting a Hindu rioters in Delhi's Jahangirpuri area, where communal clashes broke out recently.
In the viral photo, a group of police personnel including women can be seen flanking two men with saffron stoles. One of the two men appears to be carrying a stick.
The photo has gone viral after Jahangirpuri area in Delhi saw communal violence break out on April 16, 2022, during a Shobha Yatra (a rally) to mark Hanuman Jayanti in the area. According to reports, over 20 people have been arrested by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement.
The photo is being shared with the caption when translated reads, "Dharmarakshaks protecting Delhi Police with a sword in hand"
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(In Hindi - हाथमे तलवार लेकर दिल्ली पुलिस की रक्षा करते धर्मरक्षक..)
The same photo is also being shared on Facebook with the misleading claim.
BOOM found that the viral photo is from April 2020, when a video of the incident had gone viral from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, of local police patrolling along with the two men with saffron stoles seen in the viral video during the COVID-19 lockdown.
We ran a reverse image search using Google Images and a relevant keyword search which showed us search results with a video of the incident that was viral in April 2020.
At the 16 seconds timestamp, we can see the same frame in the video as in the viral photo. The caption of the tweet posted on April 20, 2020, when translated reads, "This video is from Badaun but I am not completely sure. Who is in the saffron scarf with the police??? just need an answer to this question It doesn't matter where it is, when it is. The only question is, who are these people with the police??""
Additionally, we also found a reply to a tweet by Badaun Police on April 20, 2020, stating, "Sho Kotwali told that both the persons shown in the above photo are Corona Warriors 1. Mukesh Kumar and 2. Sunil Gurjar had visited the locality and appealed to the people to download the Arogya Setu App and stay in their respective homes. Both are Corona Warriors with the police."