“कोलकाता में बीजेपी की रैली में ममता बनर्जी ने अपने गुंडों से हमला कराई हिंदू भाई लोगों पर देश को बचाना है 2019 में बीजेपी को जिताना है” (Mamata Banerjee’s goons attacked Hindu brothers at a BJP rally in Kolkata. We have to re-elect BJP in 2019, if we want to save the country -translated), reads a Facebook post by an individual user, Anil Singh Bjp along with graphic images of injured people. So far, it has been shared more than 29,000 times from this account alone.

Several other individual users have posted the images with identical text on Facebook and Twitter.

Old and unrelated

We found that the photographs viral on social media are old and not related to any BJP rally in Kolkata. Upon reverse searching the images on Google, we came across a tweet by Rahul Gandhi which included two photos of protesters bleeding heavily. The images pertain to a protest held by the young job seeking aspirants outside the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in November 2018. A report published by The Week on November 2, 2018 stated, “The police used canes to disperse people protesting here Friday against two court rulings that quashed the selection of over 12,000 government teachers and ordered a CBI probe into the process to appoint 68,500 more.”

Moreover, the other image on the bottom-right is of the woman who got injured during a protest held by the guardians and parents of Binodini Grils’ High School, Kolkata against the school management. According to a report which has the picture of the woman, they were protesting outside the school premises over an accusation of molestation levelled against a teacher in the school.

Insofar as the violence in the rally of BJP President Amit Shah on January 29 is concerned, buses that carried the BJP supporters were allegedly vandalised by TMC supporters. A report published by the Hindustan Times stated, “The BJP workers retaliated by vandalising several government buses, police vehicles, motorbikes and two offices of the ruling Trinamool Congress. Several bikes and cycles were set ablaze.”

In conclusion, old and unrelated images were sought to be portrayed as TMC party workers attacking BJP supporters at a rally held in Kolkata.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.