In the backdrop of farmers' protest against the three contentious farm bills in Delhi, an image of protesting farmers sitting on and around a jeep with Mercedes logo is being shared online. The image is being shared with the claim that the vehicle is Mercedes Benz G-class that costs over ₹1.5 crores, and is being shared to portray the wealth of the farmers.
A Twitter user, The Intrepid shared the image with the caption in mocking at protesters, "अब क्या देश का अन्नदाता मर्सिडीज आईफोन फॉरच्यूनर भी नहीं रख सकता? (Can the farmers of the nation not keep Mercedes, iPhone, Fortuner?)"
Nishant, a Twitter user who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also shared the image with the caption, "देश के गरीब किसान की सस्ती जीप (Cheap jeeps for the poor farmers of the nation)."
Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation chairman, Kanchan Gupta also tweeted the same image with the caption, "If only my father did not have to pay Income Tax all his life on what he earned from his salaried job. If only journalism was a tax-free trade and I did not have to pay Income Tax. If only @nandinizg did not have to part with massive sums of money as Income Tax in her tech job..."
The image is also viral on Facebook.
The farmers protesting in Delhi own Mercedes Benz G-class that costs over ₹1.5 crores.
The Logical Indian did a reverse image search and found the same image was tweeted by a user Jashanpreet Singh and attributed the image to the harrier hawk.
The Quint spoke to Jashanpreet Singh, who said the owner of the car was Manpreet Singh. Manpreet Singh had put the image on his Instagram profile on December 19, 2020.
In another image posted by Manpreet Singh on Instagram, the number of the vehicle was clearly visible. The vehicle number was 'PB 12Z 8282'.
On searching with the vehicle number on VAHAN, we found the vehicle is SUV Gurkha by Force Motors Limited.
We searched for SUV Gurkha's price and found that its price ranged from ₹9.75-13.3 lakh.
There are several media reports, and blogs that give tips to convert SUV Gurkha into Mercedes G-Wagen.
Alt News spoke to Manpreet Singh, who is a resident of Anandpur. He said, "I have been visiting the morcha to demonstrate my solidarity with the farmers since December 5. People from all walks of life are present at the border to support the farmers. The car in the viral image is mine. It is a replica of the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon. I have nothing to hide. I'm a regular taxpayer. It's quite disheartening to see how my car's photo is being used to discredit the farmers' protest. The online attacks based on the viral image have not impacted my spirit to support the farmers' protests."
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Also Read: Fact Check: Old Photo Of Farmer Protesting At Singhu Border Used By BJP To Show Farmers Happy With New Farm Laws