A photo showing a group of policemen escorting two men has gone viral in the context of the recent riots in Delhi's Jahangirpuri area. In the viral picture, some policemen with sticks and two persons in civil dress wearing saffron-coloured scarves around their neck can be seen. People tauntingly wrote that Delhi Police is roaming around with saffron-clad 'dharma rakshaks'.
The incidents of communal violence across India have sparked off a series of posts on social media that aim to spread misinformation.
25 arrests have been made by the police in Jahangirpuri's riot case while several people who participated in the clashes have been reported missing.
The viral photo is being shared with the claim written in Hindi: "हाथ मे तलवार लेकर दिल्ली पुलिस की रक्षा करते धर्मरक्षक"
[English Translation: Dharmarakshaks protecting Delhi Police with a sword in hand.] Dharmarakshaks are protectors of the faith, commonly used to denote religious Hindus with extremist ideologies.
The viral photo casts doubts on the character of the Delhi Police and the nature of the ongoing investigation into the Jahangirpuri violence by showing them allegedly escorting these men who appear to be carrying swords.
It is being widely shared on social media with a similar claim.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it to be false. The viral image is almost two years old.
We conducted a reverse image search on the viral image which led us to this post dating to April 21, 2020.
This indicated that the viral image is not from the Delhi Jahangirpuri riots.
We followed this up with a further examination of similar tweets. We came across tweets such as this:
These tweets claim that the police in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh were working with those who allegedly killed Muslims. We took the following information and conducted another search. This led us to this response by the official Twitter account of the Badaun police. The caption of the image reads in Hindi which reads, "Sho कोतवाली द्वारा बताया गया कि उक्त फोटो मे दर्शाये गये दोनों व्यक्ति कोरोना वारियर्स 1. मुकेश कुमार तथा 2. सुनील गुर्जर द्वारा मोहल्ले में भ्रमण कर लोगों से आरोग्य सेतु एप डाउनलोड करने तथा अपने-अपने घरों में रहने की अपील की गई । पुलिस के साथ दोनों कोरोना वारियर्स हैं."
[English Translation: Sho Kotwali informed that both the persons who are shown in the above photo are Covid-19 Warriors Mukesh Kumar and Sunil Gurjar. They visited the locality and appealed to the people to download the Arogya Setu App. They advocated that people stay in their respective homes.]
The Logical Indian team contacted the SHO of Kotwali police station in Budaun. The SHO, Mr Amarpal Singh was not able to affirm when the photo was taken. However, he stated that the viral image was from Budaun during the Covid lockdown. We also tried to reach Dr Om Prakash Singh, SSP Badaun regarding the viral image. We haven't received any response to phone calls. This story will be updated once we get any statement from his side.
The Logical Indian Fact Check could not independently identify the origin of the viral image.
To conclude, the claim of the viral posts which allege that Delhi Police is protecting the rioters in the photo is misleading. The photo has been on Internet since April, 2020.
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