On Saturday, 28 November, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared an image captured by a PTI photographer showing a security personnel purportedly about to hit a farmer with a baton at the Singhu border, amid the ongoing farmers’ protest.
BJP IT Cell Head Amit Malviya quote tweeted it and shared a ‘Propaganda vs Reality’ video claiming that the police didn’t even touch the farmer.
We found that the video shared by Malviya was a cropped version and the longer video of the same showed police personnel standing one after the other and the baton of the other cop almost touching the leg of the farmer.
Malviya tweeted: “Rahul Gandhi must be the most discredited opposition leader India has seen in a long long time.”
The video shared by Malviya had garnered over three lakh views at the time of writing the article.
Twitter users such as Political Kida and several Facebook users followed suit and shared the video with the claim: “Police didn't even touch the farmer, just waved the stick in air but one pic is smartly being used to make police the villian. For their propaganda this is how Congress ecosystem can make anyone villian. (sic)”
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We came across a longer version of the video, shared by Malviya, in which security personnel can be seen standing in a line one after the other and gesturing to hit the farmer with batons.
Malviya’s tweet only shows the second cop, thereby omitting the first one, who too, attempted to hit the farmers.
▶️ Thousands of Indian farmers clashed with police, Friday, as the farmers continued to march towards New Delhi in protest of new farming laws.
Indian Farmers Clash with Police as They Protest New Lawshttps://t.co/I5Tx0hA4kP pic.twitter.com/NdRKWn0dXe
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) November 27, 2020
Fact-checking website BOOM contacted the farmer, Sukhdev Singh, who said that he was indeed hit by the baton. While describing the sequence of events, he said that police was firing tear gas shells and wielding lathis.
“I saw them wielding their lathis and tried to stop it using my hand but it instead hit my forearm, just below my wrist," he said, showing his injuries to the fact-checking portal. He further adding that the lathi (baton) did hit my calf but the injury isn’t severe because I was protected by the clothes I wear underneath.
PTI photographer Ravi Choudhary had captured the visual showing the baton of the first police personnel almost touching the farmer’s leg.
Speaking to The Quint, Choudhary said, "When farmers tried to cross the barricades, police started lathi-charging and that's when the old farmer was hit."
We also went through PTI photo archives and saw the captions along with the images uploaded on the platform.
The caption along with the image showing first security personnel reads: “A security person baton charges a farmer as protestors cross Singhu Border during 'Delhi Chalo' march against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Friday, 27 November.”
The caption along with the image showing second security personnel reads: “A security person attempts to baton charge a farmer as protestors cross Singhu Border during 'Delhi Chalo' march against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Friday, 27 November.”
CLASHES BETWEEN FARMERS AND POLICE
Earlier on Thursday, 26 November, angry farmers at Shambhu border, near Ambala, threw away police barricades into the river, pelted stones, physically pushed vehicles and continued to protest as police stopped them from proceeding to Delhi.
The police, meanwhile, used tear gas and water cannons on the farmers, but the latter managed to cross the border into Haryana on Thursday.
TEAR GAS FIRED AT SINGHU BORDER
An NDTV bulletin uploaded on 27 November shows visuals of tear gas being fired at farmers at Singhu border.
BBC Hindi, too, aired visuals of tear gas shells being fired at the farmers on the said border.
दिल्ली-हरियाणा की सिंघु बॉर्डर पर प्रदर्शनकारी किसानों और सुरक्षाबलों के बीच संघर्ष, बीबीसी संवाददाता दिलनवाज़ पाशा की रिपोर्ट.
कैमराः पीयूष नागपाल pic.twitter.com/orjiE6MCxR
— BBC News Hindi (@BBCHindi) November 27, 2020
India TV shared visuals of police lathi-charging the farmers at Singhu border.
— India TV (@indiatvnews) November 27, 2020
Evidently, Malviya shared cropped footage to claim that the batons raised by police personnel didn’t hit the farmer in an attempt to discredit the farmers’ protest.
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