The ongoing protests against the centre’s three farm bills turned violent on January 26 in New Delhi. Since then there have several misleading claims about what transpired. Multiple Twitter accounts have now posted an image of Dr Kafeel Khan driving a tractor along with the claim that the image shows him posing as a farmer in New Delhi.

Indian Film & TV Directors’ Association president Ashoke Pandit tweeted this image and wrote in Hindi, “Meet him… this is the same Gorakhpur oxygen thief Khan who is pretending to be a farmer and spreading anarchy in Delhi! Looks like he has forgotten Yogi Ji’s wrath #NotFarmersButTerroists #TheyArentFarmersTheyAreGoons”. His tweet was retweeted over 300 times.

(Translated from Hindi: इनसे मिलिए यह वोहि गोरखपुर का ऑक्सिजन चोर कफ़ील खान है जो आज किसान बनके दिल्ली में अराजकता फैला रहा है ! योगी जी के डंडे यह बंदा भूल गया !)

Uttar Pradesh-based Dr Kafeel Khan was arrested in 2017 under various sections of the IPC, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Medical Council Act for the death of infants in the Gorakhpur oxygen shortage tragedy. Two years later, of which Khan spent about nine months in jail, he was absolved of all charges in the case. In January 2020, UP police arrested Khan from the airport for his speech at AMU, claiming that he made ‘inflammatory’ and ‘provocative’ statements related to anti-CAA protests. The FIR was filed under IPC Section 153A and subsequently, the National Security Act was invoked. In September 2020, the Allahabad high court set aside Khan’s detention under the NSA.

Another user @thewittydoctor shared the picture and wrote, “So this is Dr Kafeel Khan, a paediatric doctor and a well known |slamist propagandist has been seen as farmer driving tractor on roads of Delhi. Still you people think these are farmers, not ISI funded terrorists?” Twitter user Satyanewsh made the same claim.

One Pratik Pandya @Pratik_rocks7 shared the photograph with the hashtag #दिल्ली_पुलिस_लट्ठ_बजाओ. (Strike a blow, Delhi police.)

Fact-check

The photograph was not shot in Delhi but Rajasthan. The viral image is a screenshot from the 17-second mark in a video on Dr Kafeel Khan’s YouTube channel. It was uploaded on January 26.

Replying to @thewittydoctor, Dr Khan refuted the claim that video is from Delhi and added that it was shot in Rajasthan.

Dr Khan told Alt News, “The video was shot around noon at Langareeyawas (a village near Jaipur) after my interaction with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act women workers on topics like the challenges they face in livelihoods, their rights and farms laws.” Dr Khan confirmed that he rode the tractor for a few minutes within the village itself.

He posted images (1, 2) and videoes (1, 2) that capture his interaction in the village.

Posted by Drkafeelkhan on Monday, 25 January 2021

Alt News spoke with Vimla Meena, sarpanch of Langareeyawas, who said, “Dr Khan visited our village on January 25. After having an awareness talk about the impact of farm laws with the residents he drove my son’s tractor.” We also spoke with police constable Tej Pal who was present with Dr Khan on January 25. “This video was shot in front of me on January 25 in Langareeyawas village,” he said.

EXIF Data Analysis

Dr Khan shared multiple pictures that were clicked on January 25. The EXIF data of the one where he is on the tractor reveals that it was shot on January 25 around 1:17 PM. Since the phone’s GPS was off, we were only able to derive the date and time using EXIF data.

However, several other images were clicked on a device where the GPS was on. The one attached below was shot on January 25 at 2:50 PM and the location was Langareeyawas (26.955606, 75.938600).

Thus, a screenshot of Dr Kafeel Khan driving a tractor in Rajasthan’s Langareeywas village was shared with the false claim that it is from the Delhi tractor rally held on January 26.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.