Farmers in Haryana’s Pipli have been protesting the Central government’s farm bills for several months now. Two of the bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha on September 20 despite massive pushback from the opposition. In the protest rally in Pipli on September 10, farmers were lathi-charged while stones were thrown at the police. Both sides sustained injuries. Following the violence, social media users began sharing pictures supposedly showing what went down at the rally.

Among these posts was one by Shakuntala Sahu, a Congress MLA from Kasdol in Chhattisgarh, who tweeted a photo of a standoff between a policeman with a gun and an older man holding a brick. In her caption, she wrote, “Don’t kill me with your bullets, I am already a miserable person..! The reason behind my death is that I happen to be a farmer ..! #kishanVirodhiNarendraModi. (anti-farmer Narendra Modi).” This post had been liked by 2,000 users at the time of writing. (archived link to the tweet)

It was also shared by the official Twitter handle of the Chhattisgarh Youth Congress. Their post carried the caption, “Mr. Modi showered sticks on each individual who tried to raise their voice and fight for their rights.” (archived link to the post)

Several other Twitter users including @jayman_sharma and @sandypal123 also shared the image with similar captions.

In addition to Twitter, the image seems to have gone viral on Facebook as well. One Arshad Ansari shared it with MLA Shakuntala Sahu’s caption from earlier. Ansari’s post has been liked more than 200 times. A Facebook group called ‘Jan Jan Ki Awaaz (Rajdhanwar)‘ also posted the picture with the same caption.


Alt News had previously fact-checked the origins of this photo back in 2018. It had then been circulating as a photo from the farmer protest in October 2018 when protesters had been stopped at the Delhi-UP border during the demonstrations led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

When we did a reverse image search, we discovered a number of articles, making it clear that this was not a recent image. We also found that it had been taken in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh in 2013. The photo was included in a report by The Pioneer dated September 30, 2013. It was also found in an article in The Indian Express from the same day. This article credited news agency PTI for the image. The Hindu had also published it on the same day.

According to the report, when BJP MLA Sangeet Som was implicated in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case and was slapped with an NSA charge, his brother decided to call a mahapanchayat in Khera in protest. The police banned the mahapanchayat and imposed Section 144 in the area to curb communal sentiments. However, the villagers began gathering anyway and violated Section 144. This picture was taken during this incident where the police were trying to control the crowd.

Therefore, the image that has been doing the rounds on social media is not from the recent farmer protests in Pipli. It was, in fact, taken many years ago in Meerut’s Khera in an unrelated incident. Ironically, while Congress targetted the BJP with this photograph, the incident occurred during Congress’s rule.

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A journalist and a dilettante person who always strives to learn new skills and meeting new people. Either sketching or working.