Few images of injured protesters are circulating on social media with the claim that they depict farmers who were beaten during the ongoing protests. It is also being claimed that the atrocity did not get any media coverage. On September 24, Facebook user MD Samir posted the images and said, “Farmer protests got violent. These pictures of atrocities on food producers will frighten you. The sold-out and pliant media will not show you this. They are being paid to divert the country’s attention from real issues and focus on Hindu-Muslim. More than the country’s political leaders, the media is ruining this country.” At the time of writing this article, the post garnered over 11,000 shares.
Several Twitter users also posted these images with the same claim.
— Siraj Ahamad 🇮🇳 (@Siraj_As071) September 25, 2020
With a Google reverse image search, we found that these images were tweeted by Youth Congres on September 17, 2020. According to the tweet, members of Youth Congress held a protest against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala demanding the resignation of state higher education minister K.T Jaleel over his alleged involvement in smuggling gold through diplomatic channels. During the protest, Congress MLA VT Balaram from Thirthala got injured in a police lathi-charge.
We strongly condemn the brutal attack on Youth Congress cadres through out Kerala for protesting against LDF govt’s involvement in gold smuggling.
MLA VT Balram and workers seriously injured in the attack. State sponsored violence cannot intimidate us! pic.twitter.com/M7jYf3i67i
— Youth Congress (@IYC) September 17, 2020
Moreover, the official Twitter handle of Kerala Youth Congress, Facebook page of Jharkhand Pradesh Youth Congress, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and Indian Youth Congress president Srinivas B V also posted images of the protest against the LDF government.
“Opposition lawmaker from Congress, VT Balaram was injured when the police charged with batons at protesters from both Congress and BJP during a protest in Palakkad. Several protesters had sustained injuries due to police action.” reads a report published by Hindustan Times on September 17, 2020. KT Jaleel is being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over his alleged connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case. Manorama News has published a video of police lathi-charging the protesters.
Therefore, images of injured protesters from the demonstration held by Youth Congress over the alleged involvement of Kerala minister KT Jaleel in a gold smuggling case were shared as ongoing farmer protests. Earlier this month, old video and images were shared as farmer protests held in several parts of the country. It is noteworthy that there have been reports of lathi-charge on the farmers protesting against the farm bills in Haryana’s Kurukshetra city.