I Am Right Here If They Want To See My Injuries: Lathi-Charged Farmer

BOOM identified the elderly farmer as Sukhdev Singh who said he sustained injuries to his forearm, back and calf muscle.

Amit Malviya, head of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) IT Cell on Saturday shared a cropped clip showing a security personnel swinging a baton at an elderly Sikh farmer, to claim that the man was not injured by security forces.

However, a longer version of the video shows the farmer was targetted by not one but two security personnel - with the first security personnel taking aim at the farmer.

BOOM also tracked down the old man and identified him as one Sukhdev Singh. Singh who is currently at the Haryana-Delhi border told us that he sustained injuries to his forearm, back and calf muscle.

"My arms have turned black and blue where the lathi hit me and there are bruises on my back too. They can say I have not been hit but I am right here if they want to come and see my injuries," said Singh a farmer from Sangojla in Kapurthala district of Punjab.

On November 27, 2020, violent clashes were reported between protesters and police and para-military forces at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana. Thousands of farmers from across Haryana and Punjab have marched with some still on their way towards the national capital to protest against the government's new farm laws.

A photo from those clashes clicked by Press Trust of India (PTI) photojournalist Ravi Choudhary soon went viral and became one of the defining images of the protest. Several politicians including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi used the image to criticise the central government over the handling of the protest.

However, a video of the same incident was shared by right wing portals which showed Sukhdev Singh running from one point to another all the while trying to escape security personnel standing in the way. Right wing websites like Political Kida and OpIndia used a clipped version of this video, showing just a few seconds culled from the full video, of the security personnel swinging his baton but missing Singh.

The cropped clip tweeted by Amit Malviya was made by Political Kida and shows a two window - the viral photo in the first panel juxtaposed with a 3-second continuously replaying clip that shows the elderly farmer running and seemingly escaping unhurt.

Malviya quote tweeted Rahul Gandhi with the viral clip saying, "Rahul Gandhi must be the most discredited opposition leader India has seen in a long long time."

Click here to view, and here for an archive

The clip was earlier tweeted by Political Kida - a pro right Twitter account - with the caption suggesting the baton never hit the farmer.

Click here to view, and here for an archive

Click here to view, and here for an archive

OpIndia citing the cropped clip published a 'fact-check' claiming that the baton did not touch the protester.

BOOM has previously fact-checked multiple instances of misinformation shared by OpIndia.

OpIndia article

Click here to read.

Also Read: No, Woman In Farmers' Protest Photo Is Not Shaheen Bagh's Bilkis Dadi

FACT-CHECK

BOOM identified the man as 57-year-old Sukhdev Singh hailing from Sangojla, currently protesting at the Haryana-Delhi border who confirmed to us that the lathi hit him.

"We were all running, there was chaos everywhere with the police beating anyone who was not in a uniform. They were also firing tear gas shells. I remember trying to go from one side to the other and the way was blocked by policemen standing strategically on one side. I saw them wielding their lathis and tried to stop it using my hand but it instead hit my forearm, just below my wrist," explained Singh.

"I Have Injuries On My Legs, Back And Arms : Sukhdev Singh"

When asked if he got hit on his leg, as seen in the viral photo and clip, Singh confirmed and said, "The lathi hit my calf but the injury there is not as severe because it was protected by the thick layer I wear underneath my pants to ward off the cold."


Below is a video of Singh explaining his injuries:

We further analysed photos, videos, and also spoke to people and found that the video made by Political Kida and shared by Amit Malviya, omits the part where Singh is targetted by not just one security official but by two of them, while he is running.

A longer video by VOA News shows Singh facing another security officer who swings his baton towards him and hits him.

We then contacted photo journalist Ravi Choudhary who said that on the said day, some farmers and protesters breached the barricades put by up the police and entered the side where all the cops and paramilitary personnel were stationed.

"There was stone pelting, barricades were broken and a bus was also damaged with violent clashes between the police and protesters. The police then started lathi charging indiscriminately at all the protesters who had remained at the other side of the barricade. The old man in the photo, was also hit by the lathi when he was running back to the side where all the farmers present," said Choudhary.

Choudhary also directed us to a photo he uploaded on Instagram where a policeman can be seen pointedly and directly swinging his lathi at Singh's left leg. This matches with the longer clip where one can see the same thing.

Photo credit: Ravi Choudhary / PTI News

BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests with unrelated photos and videos being shared with false claims.

Also Read: Pro-Khalistan Slogans From Cricket World Cup Peddled As Farmers' Protest


Updated On: 2021-01-15T12:53:38+05:30
Claim Review :   Clip shows police did not lathi-charge elderly man during Farmers Protest
Claimed By :  Political Kida, Amit Malviya, OpIndia
Fact Check :  False
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