An image of an old man lying lifeless on a road is viral on social media with claims that he is a farmer who passed away while protesting against the contentious farm bills passed by the central government. The number of total deaths in Farmers' Protest at Delhi Border since 24 November 2020 noted on February 10, 2021, is 224.
The photograph in the viral posts shows a man in a blue turban lying on the street. The post is making rounds on Facebook and Twitter with similar captions. The caption in Hindi read, "Tribute to Baba Ji who was martyred in Delhi protests today".
The same image was circulated on Twitter as well. The tweets tweeted in Bengali read, "Farmers in India have been protesting for more than 120 days while facing severe cold and heavy rains demanding the repeal of three anti-farmer agricultural laws brought in by the BJP government. This has claimed the lives of more than 63 farmers. @BJP4India. The government failed to solve their problem. #KrishokBirodhiBJP".
The tweet has been archived here.
The viral photograph is of a farmer who passed away on the road while protesting against farm bills in Delhi.
The viral posts along with the photograph of the man are being circulated with a false claim of it being related to the farmers' movement.
The man identified in the photo was a 55-year-old farmer who died outside the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant at Bathinda opposing Punjab Government's order. He was a senior leader of the Bharti Kisan Union who was protesting over the closure of the same thermal plant in Punjab. This incident dates back to July 2020.
On doing a reverse image search of the image, several social media posts from July 2020 came up. A verified Facebook account of Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, an MLA from Jagraon, Punjab shared the same image along with other 5 images and wrote in Punjabi, "A senior leader of the Farmer Union protesting over the closure of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, died. He was protesting to get his demand fulfilled from Chief Minister Captain Amarinder and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal but he passed away while doing so. The government is responsible for this. It is a shame that even after hours of the death of a farmer leader, no leader of the government has expressed his grief."
The post has been archived here.
By keyword search, we found a report by Punjab Kesari which stated that a senior citizen who was a farmer ended his life in front of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant on the morning of July 1, 2020.
Another report from the Indian Express published on July 2, 2020, said, "Joginder Singh, from Cheema village of Sangrur district, started his protest dharna at 7 am and was found lying dead around 10 am. He was carrying a flag of Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and a placard on which it was mentioned that he is sacrificing his life to protest against the decision of selling the land of the thermal plant." The report mentions that the cause of death was not known however, the union members gave a statement that Singh died by suicide.
Both the articles were published in July 2020 identifying the man in the viral photo and also linking the incident with a protest about the thermal plant in Punjab.
Hence, the claim of the farmer dying during the ongoing farmers' protest in Delhi is false.
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