On December 20, 2022, Uttarakhand high court passed an order to evict over 4,000 families from land claimed by the Railways in Haldwani. The court’s decision was later challenged in the country’s highest court and on January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed the HC order. The apex court observed that the case had a humanitarian angle that needed to be considered.

In this context, Major Surendra Poonia tweeted a photo and wrote, “Dear Friends, Don’t buy land anywhere.. just unite with your community in large numbers and capture any Govt/Defence/Railway land; Milord will legitimise it. And If you raise your voice against this, you are endangering country’s secularism. #HaldwaniEncroachment”

BJP worker Priti Gandhi also tweeted the same photo and wrote, “This is what the Supreme Court has legitimized today!”

Prabha Upadhya who claims to be BJP UP mahila morcha state president, and Shruthi Bangaru BJP telangana state general secretary also shared the image on Twitter with similar captions as Priti Gandhi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Others who have shared the image with a similar caption as Priti Gandhi include, @Sandesh99508245, @aceduos, @Ashutos04111153, @KapilKrSinghAdv, @ParitoshPal1701, @Tanwarliva, @RituRathaur

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fact Check

A simple reverse image search using Google lens took us to an article by ABC News published in 2016. This report carried the same image as a thumbnail. The description of the photo reads, “People get on with their lives in a slum on the railway tracks as a commuter train goes past on Dec. 12, 2013 in Kolkata, India.” It had been credited to Samir Hussein/Getty Images.

Using the same description, we performed a keyword search on Google and came across the original photo available on Getty Images. The photo is dated December 12, 2013. It represents a slum near railway tracks in Kolkata.

To sum it up, reacting to the Supreme Court order putting a stay on the decision of the Uttarakhand high court to demolish 4,000 homes in Haldwani, BJP workers and supporters shared a ten-year-old image from Kolkata, apparently to demonize the poor and the marginalized.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.

Donate Now

About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc