A photograph of several men pelting stones has been shared on social media in the view of nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). In the middle of the group is an elderly man wearing a skull cap hurling stone. The image is circulating with the claim, “रहमान चचा 500 रु लेकर पत्थर फेंकने गये थे…. यूपी पुलिस ने उन्हें 1,50,000 का नोटिस भेज दिया (Rehman uncle had gone to pelt stones for Rs 500. UP Police has sent him notice of Rs 1,50,000 -translated)”

A post by Pavan Kharab, who on his Facebook profile claims to be associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has amassed over 5,100 shares.

Many people on Twitter and Facebook shared the image with a similar claim.

On December 24, the same image was tweeted by Pakistani-Canadian author Tarek Fatah with the message, “Meanwhile #, in India a ‘peaceful’ in action.” It has garnered more than 4,500 retweets so far.


A reverse search of the image on Google revealed that it is almost three years old. We found the same image posted on January 8, 2016. The user claimed that the image is from the Malda riots.

Alt News couldn’t ascertain whether the image represents the riots that took place in West Bengal. However, it is worthwhile to note that the violence reportedly broke out on January 3, 2016, in Kaliachak block of Malda while the earliest instance that Alt News could find was January 8, 2016.

In conclusion, an old photograph of stone-pelting has been shared in the background of anti-CAA protest across the country. The claim falsely suggests that a Muslim protester who was pelting stones for money has been heavily penalised by the UP government.

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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.