An old image of vegetables strewn on a road is viral on social media with a false claim linking it to the December 8 Bharat bandh called by the farmers of Punjab and Haryana protesting at the borders of Delhi.
BOOM found that the photo has been on internet since May this year and is not related to the ongoing farmers' protest.
The image is viral at a time when thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are camping at the borders of Delhi protesting against the three new farm acts brought in by the Bharatiya Janata Party led central government. The farmers who have been protesting for months now, had called for a nationwide shutdown on December 8 against the three farm laws.
The agitating farmers have called for another nationwide strike on December 14 after their meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on December 9 did not yield solutions.
The viral posts have an image of vandalised makeshift vegetable stores as shops remain shut. A Hindi caption with the post translates to 'To enforce a Bharat Bandh, Congress leaders are terrorising poor vendors. How can they be well wishers of farmers'.
(Hindi: भारत बंद कराने के लिए गरीब दुकानदारों पर कांग्रेसी नेताओं का आतंक | ये कैसे किसान हितैषी होंगे |)
View the viral post below and access its archived version here.
The same image has been shared from multiple Facebook pages with as recent.
The same picture has been shared on Twitter with a Hindi caption translating to 'The deeds of Yogendra Yadav and his anarchic-lustful companions in the name of farmer interest'.
(Hindi: किसान हित के नाम पर योगेंद्र यादव और उनके अराजक- लंपट साथियों की करतूत!!)
BOOM also found the same image, along with a set of other pictures, in an article published on web portal Kreately under a headline suggesting that the nationwide strike on December 8 was called by 'anti-nationals'. Kreately is a self publishing website, where readers can log in and create their own content.
View archive here.
BOOM found that all the images carried in the article published in Kreately were old and not related to the farmers' protest.
BOOM did a reverse image search on the viral image and found that the same image was viral on social media earlier in May this year.
A tweet on May 5, 2020 carried the same image with a caption 'Can open liquor shop not vegetables shop? Police beat vendor also, sub Ka Saath, sharaab Ka vikaas'.
Upon searching with relevant keywords we found several tweets, most of them from May 5, carrying the same image along with others.
We saw a vehicle with a West Bengal registration number in the image. Taking cue, we did a keyword search with Bangla caption 'মদের দোকান খোলা' (English: liquor shops open) and found several Facebook posts from May 4, 2020, carrying the same image. Several users identified the vandalism as an incident of Pioneer Market in West Bengal's Barasat. The captions in Bangla took a dig at Central Government's decision to open alcohol shops in the third phase of the lockdown.
BOOM also checked the images used in the article published in Kreately on December 8, 2020 and found all of them to be old. Kreately has however carried a disclaimer with the article taking no responsibility for the article and the images carried in it.
The Kreately article uses a set of six images including the viral one debunked above. The article's headline in Hindi translates to 'Shame on such a strike and damn those who hold such strikes'.
(Hindi: लानत है ऐसे बंद पर… और धिक्कार है ऐसे बंद करने वालों पर…!!)
BOOM found the same image carried in an article published in DNA on September 10, 2018. A caption with the photo reads 'Jan Adhikar Party supporter vandalises vehicles during Bharat Bandh protest against fuel price hike and depreciation of the rupee, in Patna, Monday - PTI'.
The image was tracked to an article published in the DNA on September 18, 2018 under the headline 'Diesel flare-up singes truckers'. The image in the news report appears to be used for representational purpose and further shows that it is not related to the current farmers' protest.
Image 3 & 4
The third and fourth images are cropped from the same image. BOOM tracked the image to an article published in NDTV on September 11, 2018. The caption reads 'Bharat Bandh: Jan Adhikar Party supporters vandalise vehicles against fuel price hike in Patna (PTI)'.
We traced this image to an Outlook photo gallery from September 10, 2018. The caption with the photo reads 'Left Party workers stop a biker during 'Bharat Bandh' strike called by Congress and other parties against fuel price hike and depreciation of the rupee, at Jayadev Vihar in Bhubaneswar'.
In fact all the pictures used in the Kreately article can be found in the 2018 photo gallery of Outlook.
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