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Fact Check: Farmers Breaking Police Barricades To Enter Delhi? Video Of Protest Against Punjab Vlogger’s Arrest Viral With False Claim

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Video of protesting farmers breaking police barricades to enter Delhi.

Fact
Week-old-video from unrelated protest against the arrest of vlogger Bhana Sidhu in Punjab.

In the wake of farmers’ call for a protest march to Delhi on Tuesday, a video allegedly showing tractors carrying agitators breaking through police barricades and entering the national capital is being widely shared on social media platforms.

Archived versions of such posts can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

Multiple farmer unions including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha announced a “Delhi Chalo” protest march seeking centre to address their demands, including legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Ahead of the protest march on Tuesday, the security in Delhi was tightened,multiple-layer barricades, iron nails  installed, riot control vehicles were deployed at the borders.

Also Read: 50+15=73? Edited Video Of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Maths Gaffe’ On Reservation Cap Goes Viral

Fact Check/Verification

A reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral footage yielded an Instagram post by @pb31___status, dated February 4, 2024. The post carried a slightly different version of the viral video, indicating that the footage is at least a week old.

Further, we found a Facebook post by @gemmtvmedia, dated February 3, 2024. Carrying a similar video, the post stated, “Young people came with tractors to reach the sit-in in favour of Bhana Sidhu. The barricades were removed and they started to move forward: Look at the conditions like the farmers’ movement! (translated from Punjabi)”

A comparison between the keyframes of the viral footage and Facebook video, confirmed that both the clips depict the same incident.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab from Facebook video
(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab from Facebook video

A report by BBC Punjabi, dated February 3, 2024, protesters heading towards Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s residence in Sangrur in support of social media personality Bhana Sindhu were stopped at several places. It also carried the visuals from the protest.

Screengrab from BBC Punjabi report

Also Read: Haldwani Violence: Video From 2023, Showing A Young Girl Pleading Not To Be Evicted, Shared As Recent

Social activist and vlogger Bhagwan Singh, alias Bhaana Sidhu, was arrested in January on charges of extorting a Ludhiana-based immigration agent. “Sidhu and his brother were booked for extortion by police in Mohali on the complaint of another immigration agent. A case of chain snatching was also registered against Sidhu in Patiala on 22 January. Another case of extortion was registered against him on 26 January in Abohar,” reported The Print.

The Tribune also reported on the February 3 protest against the arrest of Sidhu. It stated, “Thousands of supporters of vlogger Bhana Sidhu blocked Bathinda-Sangrur-Patiala national highway and staged a dharna more than a km away from the residence of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Sangrur.”

As per latest reports, Sindhu was granted bail by a Mohali court on February 12.

Also Read: Rally Against Far-Right In Germany Shared As Pro-Palestine March

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that a week old video of agitation against the arrest of social media personality Bhana Sidhu has been falsely linked to the farmers’ protest march to Delhi.

Result: False

Sources
Instagram Post By @pb31___status, Dated February 4, 2024
Facebook Post By @gemmtvmedia, Dated February 3, 2024
Report By BBC Punjabi, Dated February 3, 2024


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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