2021 image of barricades near Delhi shared as recent police blockade to stop farmers' march

By: Umme Kulsum
February 13 2024

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2021 image of barricades near Delhi shared as recent police blockade to stop farmers' march

Screenshot of posts claiming to show barricades set up near a Delhi border in 2024. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The image shows barricades set up at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border in 2021. It is not from the ongoing farmer protests.

Claim ID 5487c501

Farmers from the north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh marched towards New Delhi on February 13 amid heavy barricading at the entry points leading to the national capital. Discontent among the farmers, united under the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, has been brewing for weeks, and talks with the government have collapsed. 

What is the claim?

Against this backdrop, many old and unrelated visuals circulating widely on social media have been linked to the ongoing farmers' agitation. An X (formerly Twitter) user shared a picture of a highway with several levels of barricading and a significant presence of security forces. The user implied the image was taken ahead of the ongoing farmer protest, and the barricades were set up to prevent farmers from entering Delhi. Several other users shared the image with the viral hashtags "#FarmersProtest2024" and "#FarmersProtest." Archived versions of such posts can be viewed here and here.

Screenshot of claims made online. (Source: X/Modifed by Logically Facts)

While news outlets have reported that the police have placed iron nails, barbed wires, and concrete barriers at the Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders, aiming to stop farmers from reaching Delhi, the viral image is not recent. It shows heavy barricading placed at a Delhi border in 2021 when farmers launched a movement against three newly passed agricultural laws (now repealed).

What did we find?

Through a Google reverse image search on Google, we traced the viral image to 2021.

Getty Images had shared the same image, in better quality, in February 2021. Titled "Multi-Level Barricading At Ghazipur Border Near Farmer Protest," the image was shared with a description that stated that the barricades were set up at the Ghazipur border as the farmer's protest continued on February 3, 2021, in New Delhi, India, against the three farm laws. The image was credited to Sakib Ali of Hindustan Times, which is a contributor to Getty Images.

The same image was also published by India Today on February 4, 2021, and was credited to the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). Many news outlets had reported on the incident and carried images of these blocakdes captured from different angles.

Screenshot of the India Today report from 2021 carrying the viral image. (Source: India Today)

In September 2020, the Indian government passed three laws, which farmers' unions criticized as anti-farmer and viewed as a gateway to the agricultural sector's privatization. Concerns raised by farmers snowballed into nationwide protests, particularly at Delhi borders, lasting nearly a year from late 2020 to November 2021. The protests were called off when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of all three laws, citing unresolved farmer grievances.

The February 2024 protests, dubbed "Farmer Protests 2.0," are being organized by farmer unions demanding the implementation of a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) as assured by the government in 2021. The farmers are also demanding loan waivers, suspension of plans to privatize electricity boards, and pensions for farmers and laborers among other things. However, at least two rounds of talks with union ministers have collapsed, and the farmers have decided to continue their protest.

The verdict

An old photo of barricades set up at a road leading to Delhi during the 2021 farmer protests has been falsely portrayed as a recent police blockade for the ongoing farmer protests. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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