Two years after they had called off their massive protest, farmers affiliated with more than 200 unions once again hit the streets in Delhi on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, in a march spearheaded by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha seeking a legal guarantee of MSP and the implementation of the Swaminathan formula, among other demands.

Against this backdrop, an image has started doing the rounds on social media in which some Sikh men can be seen sitting in front of or on top of a jeep with a Mercedes Benz logo. Claiming that the vehicle costs around Rs 3 crore, social media users have started raising questions about the economic condition of the protesting farmers.

BJP worker Priti Gandhi, while sharing this picture, sarcastically claimed that ‘poor’ farmers were sitting on a Mercedes worth Rs 3 crore. The readers should note that false and misleading claims made by this user have been debunked several times in the past by Alt News.

Several other users have shared the photo and made different claims about the price of the vehicles, ranging from Rs 2.5 crores to Rs 4 crores. All these posts have targeted the farmers.

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Same Photo was Viral in 2020

In December 2020, at the height of the farmers’ protest, the same image was shared on social media. Several users had claimed that the car was Mercedes Benz G-class that cost over Rs 1.5 crores. They questioned the financial status of farmers protesting at Singhu border.

The image was shared by Twitter user @nishant_india who is followed by Prime Minster Narendra Modi. It was also posted by Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation chairman Kanchan Gupta, columnist Kartikeya Tanna, Twitter user @TrulyMonica and Sneha Singhvi (archived links 1, 2,3,4 and 5).

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Facebook page ‘I Support Narendra Modi’ that has over 15 million followers posted the screenshot of a tweet by @nishant_india. After gaining over 54,000 likes, the post was deleted.

The viral image has been shared with various captions. However, the Hindi caption written by Twitter user @nishant_india and Gagan Ajmani is the most widely used message on both Twitter and Facebook. It sarcastically says, “Nation’s poor farmer’s affordable jeep.” (Translated from देश के गरीब किसान की सस्ती जीप)

Modified Car Drives Misinformation on Social Media

On December 22, Twitter user @iPardeepDhiman had posted the viral image. He shared the Instagram profile of the owner of the car Manpreet Singh with Alt News. Singh had posted the viral image on December 19.

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We found multiple images of the identical jeep on Singh’s Instagram account. In one of the images, the registration number of the vehicle — PB 12Z 8282 — can be seen.

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We looked up the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways portal Vahan to find the RTO details of the car.

The vehicle in question is SUV Gurkha by Force Motors. According to Force Gurkha website, the car’s version is 2.6/4×2 which has two models that cost between Rs 9.75 to Rs 10 lakhs.

In 2017, CNN News18 reported that Color Glo Kerala, a car modifier, revamped Force Gurkha to look like a Mercedes G Wagen. As per CNN, the cost of modification was Rs 8.5 lakhs at the time.

Alt News spoke with Manpreet Singh, a resident of Anandpur. He is an entrepreneur and his family members are farmers. “I have been visiting the morcha to demonstrate my solidarity with the farmers since December 5. People from all walks of life are present at the border to support the farmers. The car in the viral image is mine. It is a replica of the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon. I have nothing to hide. I’m a regular taxpayer. It’s quite disheartening to see how my car’s photo is being used to discredit the farmers’ protest. The online attacks based on the viral image have not impacted my spirit to support the farmers’ protests.”

Thus, an image of modified Force Motors’ Gurkha surrounded by Sikh men during the 2020 farmers’ protest is being used to portray that the protesters are ‘rich’ and thus the movement is not legitimate. The photo was misleadingly shared in 2020 as well. The narrative that only the poor are capable of protests is a common tactic used to discredit any citizen movement. Right-Wing propaganda website OpIndia had published an elaborate piece on how one of the protesters was a model and filmmaker who had pictures with luxury cars and had also travelled abroad. The man was indeed a filmmaker who’d been camping at Singhu border in solidarity with farmers.

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About the Author

Co-founder, Alt News
Co-Founder Alt News, I can be reached via Twitter at