A photograph of a policeman carrying a corpse on his shoulders has been shared by Congress MLA Aradhana Misra-Mona with the claim, “Family abandons the dead and a Badayun cop taking the body on his shoulders. The policeman should be felicitated. But where are the ambulances and hearse vans that the state govt claims are in abundance? BJP Has Robbed #DignityToTheDead. Sad and Shameful.”

Misra has also shared the image on Facebook.

Several other users have claimed that the photograph was taken in Budaun, Uttar Pradesh.

The photograph is widespread on Facebook.

Fact-check

Budaun police shared a screenshot of Misra’s post and wrote that no such incident has taken place in the district. Furthermore, the policeman is wearing a winter uniform which suggests that the image is old.

A subsequent keyword search revealed that the photograph is at least 11 months old.

One Sachin Kaushik wrote on Twitter, “The pictures claimed to be from Budaun are from Fatehpur Sikri, a police station in Agra and they were shot last winter.” He further said that SI Prashant was carrying the dead body to the car that would transport the corpse to the mortuary. In another tweet, he wrote that the car could not reach the spot and was parked 200-250 meters away. Sachin Kaushik identifies as a policeman from Uttar Pradesh.

A person shared a newspaper clipping in a reply to Kaushik’s tweet. It carries the image currently viral. According to the report, the policeman in the picture is Prashant Singh, SI of Fatehpur Sikri in Agra. He had received information about a dead body found in a pond in Korai village. The cop picked up the corpse on his shoulders to take the unidentified body to the morgue because a vehicle could not be arranged in the area.

We contacted SI Singh who is currently posted as a sub-inspector at Etmaduddaula police station in Agra. He confirmed that the image has nothing to do with COVID and also sent a video of the incident.

SI Singh could not recall when the incident took place however, confirmed that it was last year. The oldest instance of the photograph that we were able to trace on social media dates back to April 2020.

An old photograph was thus shared with the false claim that a policeman carried a dead body of a person who recently died due to the pandemic.

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