Image of Gujarat Riots Convict Linked to NRC Ahead of WB Polls

Sonal Gupta
·4-min read

A set of images of a father consoling his son through a window and a newspaper clipping has gone viral on social media with the claim that it shows a man being taken away to a detention centre in Assam following the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The claim goes on to state that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is brought to power in the poll-bound West Bengal, they would 'separate' families in the state as well.

However, the image is from 2012 and shows a man being taken to prison after being convicted in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The newspaper clipping, which states that people are being arrested and sent to detention centres in Assam, is unrelated to the incident.

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CLAIM

The set of images was shared by several users on social media, with the caption in Bengali, which translates to,

"Dad is going to detention camp. In a detention camp set up by the BJP. 12 lakh Hindus, 2 lakh Gorkhas, 5 lakh Muslims, we don't know how they survived in the detention camp. If BJP wins it will do the same in West Bengal. Don't forget the false speech of BJP. They will separate father, mother, son, daughter. Will finish everyone."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view an archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/U5T5-WDVW" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p></div>

You can view an archived version here.

Archived versions of similar claims on Facebook can be viewed here and here.

The Quint also received a query regarding the set of images on its WhatsApp helpline.

The image was also shared with another claim in Bengali, as a warning to those supporting BJP, stating that the man in the vehicle had campaigned for Amit Shah and BJP in the 2016 Assam Elections.

However, his name was left out from the NRC list and he's now being taken away by the Assam Police to a detention centre.

An archived version of the claim can be viewed here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

A reverse image search on Yandex led us to a blog on the international news organisation Voice of America's website.

The image was captioned, "A convict consoles his son while being taken to prison after a court verdict in a 2002 religious violence case, in Ahmadabad, India. The court in western India found 32 people guilty of charges ranging from murder to rioting for their part in the deadly religious violence", and credited to news agency AP.

We looked up the image on AP's website and found that it was taken on 29 August 2012, when the man had been convicted for his part in the Gujarat riots.

WHAT DOES THE NEWSPAPER CLIPPING SAY?

The newspaper clipping being circulated along with the image, reads, "Assam is in a state of panic as arrests start again after the polls" in Bengali.

The date of capture on the clipping says '2019/05/11' and the Bengali text on the top of the page, খোলা জানালা translates to, "Open Window".

While, we could not find the newspaper of which the image has been taken, we found the exact text on a Bengali blog, 'banglarchokh.in' dated two years ago.

The post alleges that several Bengalis were arrested and sent to detention camps under the suspicion of being a 'foreigner' after the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections ended.

The Scroll had reported on 3 June 2019, that there had been a spurt of arrests of those who were left out of the NRC list, "a day after the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Assam." Among those arrested, many were "Bengali-speaking rural poor of Assam, both Hindu and Muslim."

However, the image of the father-son duo, being circulated along with the newspaper clipping has no connection to the NRC or detention centres in Assam.

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