PM Modi’s effigy wrapped in the national flag, hung upside down and paraded in Punjab amid protests.
Keyframe analysis revealed that the video was shot at Punjab’s Lohian Khas in 2020, during a protest against the now-repealed farm laws.
The clashes between the Punjab police and supporters of Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh in Ajnala over the arrest of the Sikh leader’s aide has propelled the state to social media limelight, with several users expressing their concern over the group’s demand for Khalistan.
In this backdrop, a video showing an effigy of PM Narendra Modi being paraded upside-down from a crane is going viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the clip linked it to recent developments in the state. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several Twitter users shared the video with the caption, “Modi’s effigy wrapped with national flag is being paraded in Punjab. They sent a contingent of paramilitary forces to Delhi airport to arrest Pawan Khera, but the regime and media are silent about it. (sic)”
Archived versions of such tweets can be found here, here, here, here and here.
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A keyword search for “PM Modi,” “upside down effigy,” & “Punjab” did not yield any recent reports suggesting that no such incident took place in the state recently.
On carefully analysing the viral video, we observed that the Prime Minister’s effigy was not wrapped in the national flag. Rather the effigy was clad in a saffron half-jacket that is iconic of the PM.
Furthermore, we spotted a hoarding in the background that advertised for “Phulwari school”. Another hoarding seen in the video read “Imperial immigration & Education services… in Sultanpur”.
In an attempt to determine the location of the incident, we looked up “Phulwari school,” “Sultanpur” & “Punjab” on Google and found one such school in Lohian Khas, a town nearby Sultanpur.
Following this we searched for keywords such as “PM Modi,” “effigy,” “hanged,” “upside down,” & “Lohian” in Punjabi on Facebook which led us to a post by @dailyajit, dated December 8, 2020.
The post stated, “Farmers in Lohian “hanged” Modi,” suggesting that the video was from the protest against the now-repealed farm laws.
On comparing the keyframes of the Facebook video with that of the viral clip, we could conclude that both the visuals were from the same incident.
Furthermore, we came across a few more posts from December, 2020, featuring PM Modi’s effigy hung upside down from a crane. These posts also stated that the incident was from Lohian Khas.
Newschecker Punjabi team further reached out to journalist Gurpal Singh Shatabgarh of Daily Ajit, who confirmed that the video was indeed from the farmers’ protest that happened in Lohian Khas in 2020.
We could thus conclude that visuals from a 2020 incident amid farmers’ protest in Lohian Khas is falsely linked to the recent situation in Punjab.
Facebook Post By @dailyajit, Dated December 8, 2020
Telephonic conversation with Journalist Gurpal Singh Shatabgarh On March 1, 2023
(With Inputs From Shaminder Singh)
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