A photograph of a group of police constables forcefully evicting a senior citizen has been shared with the claim that this is from the farmers’ protest in Chandigarh. Several users on social media have shared the image, condemning the police for their actions.

The photo was shared by Twitter @SranHarjap, @Jass71093752, and @ChdVarinder, among others. It is also viral with the hashtag #चंडीगढ़_पुलिस_किसान_विरोधी (Chandigarh police is anti-farmers).

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The image is circulating against the backdrop of farmers’ protests across Chandigarh. The Times of India had reported that farm organisation BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) held protests against the state and central governments at deputy commissioner offices across Punjab on July 2. Farmers were protesting against erratic power supply for the farm sector and continuously rising prices of petroleum products. BKU held another protest today “outside the mini-secretariat at the district headquarters and at Dagru seeking rollback of the three farm laws and “false” cases by the Chandigarh police against farmers”, as per The Tribune.

Old image

A reverse image search on Google took us to a news report by Hindustan Times which said that the photograph was taken in 2015 in the Hariaua village near Patiala. A group of farmers were protesting against the district administration’s move to take control over the panchayat land, which was “illegally” occupied by some tenants.

The police and administration teams had court orders to take possession of the land, but unhappy farmers started pelting stones and the police retaliated with force to tackle the situation. The police lathi-charged and fired tear shells on the protestors. The local farmers’ leader said that they had a stay order on vacating the land but police were not ready to listen. As a result of the clash, twelve farmers and three cops were injured.

The Tribune similarly wrote that a violent clash took place between police and protesters who had opposed police action to vacate panchayat land at Hariau Kalan village in Patran. The police and power com officials jointly carried out the operation armed with High Court orders that had asked the police to get the land vacated. When the police reached the site, the protestors started pelting stones.

While a simple reverse image search debunks the viral claim, the fact that none of the people in the photograph was wearing a mask also hints that the image cannot be recent.

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About the Author

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