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HomeFact checkPoliticsKerala Police Officer Pins Down Youth Congress Worker, Not BJP Member

Kerala Police Officer Pins Down Youth Congress Worker, Not BJP Member

A social media user tweeted an image of a Kerala police officer pinning a man to the ground. The user claims that the man is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala. The tweet reads:

“This is how Kerala Police deal with @BJP4Keralam and @YUVAMORCHABJP at Thiruvananthapuram on #KTJaleelResign protest!”

Fact Check/ Verification

The photograph in context of a police officer pinning a man to the ground in Kerala has created quite a stir on social media platforms. Some users have equated the photograph to police brutality faced by the late George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. 

https://www.facebook.com/KarthikRamakrishnan01/posts/10224799432080235

Through a reverse image search of the photograph we came across a News Minute article from 15 September titled, “Kerala cop pins Congress worker to ground during protest, pic sparks outrage.” 

The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down
The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down

The man pinned to the ground was identified as Anthony, a Youth Congress worker, “in order to allow Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel’s convoy to pass through,” according to the article.

It further quotes State Congress vice-president and former legislator PC Vishnunadh who called the police act shameful. “Just see the cruelty that was shown to one of our young activist Antony, who turned into a victim of police high-handedness, as literally a replay of what happened in the US was played out,” he said. 

Kerala Protests Turned Violent

Last week, Kerala witnessed widespread protests by various political parties demanding the state’s higher education minister KT Jaleel’s resignation. This was after he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to a gold smuggling case. 

These protests which turned violent in many areas with police using water cannons included members of the Congress party, BJP, ABVP, Mahila Morcha and the Muslim league.

You can read more about the anti-government protests in Kerala here.

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram also posted the photograph in context on 14 September with the caption, “Citizen and Pinarayi government.”

https://www.facebook.com/vtbalram/posts/10157974220694139

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal, shared a video published by Manorama News reporting about the photograph. 

https://www.facebook.com/josekuttyp/posts/3479483808768662

Manorama Online also reported on the incident on 14 September. 

Conclusion

Our research makes it clear that the police officer in the photograph is pinning a Youth Congress worker to the ground, and not a member of Bharatiya Janata Party. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

The News Minute: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/kerala-cop-pins-congress-worker-ground-during-protest-pic-sparks-outrage-133126

New Indian Express: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2020/sep/12/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-protests-erupt-in-state-demanding-minister-jaleels-resignation-2195950.html

The Hindu: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/gold-smuggling-case-anti-govt-protests-roil-kerala-for-sixth-day/article32628592.ece

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram: https://www.facebook.com/vtbalram/posts/10157974220694139

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal: https://www.facebook.com/josekuttyp/posts/3479483808768662

Manorama Online: https://www.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/2020/09/14/protest-against-kerala-government.html

Prathmesh Kunt contributed towards research of this fact check.


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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