India won a total of 61 medals in the Commonwealth Games 2022. This includes 22 Gold, 16 Silver and 23 Bronze medals. Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Naveen are among the players who have won gold medals in wrestling.
Since the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games, a picture is viral on social media. In this photo, along with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya are seen sitting on a stage. It is shared with the claim that it was clicked during the farmers’ protest.
Rajasthan Youth Congress tweeted the picture and wrote, “This photo is of the farmers’ movement. And these three wrestlers have now returned victorious.” (Archive link)
ये फोटो किसान आंदोलन की है. और ये तीनों पहलवान अब सोना जीतकर आए हैं !! pic.twitter.com/ajCRHmQv2H
— Rajasthan Youth Congress (@Rajasthan_PYC) August 11, 2022
Congress leader Alka Lamba, quote-tweeted Rajasthan Youth Congress and wrote, “Blessings and prayers of our farmers were with all of them”. (Archive link)
हमारे अन्नदाताओं का आशीर्वाद और दुआएँ जो थी इन सबके साथ.. 😊🇮🇳👍 https://t.co/ZN3PiqXiGI
— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) August 12, 2022
Journalist Mandeep Punia also described it as a picture taken during the time of the farmers’ movement. (Archive link)
ये फोटो किसान आंदोलन की है. और ये तीनों पहलवान अब सोना जीतकर आए हैं. pic.twitter.com/fCNxLrWdL5
— Mandeep Punia (@mandeeppunia1) August 11, 2022
On Facebook, this image has been shared by pages such as With INC, Yuva Desh, satirical page Rofl Gandhi etc., with the same claim.
This picture is viral on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
We noticed that in the viral picture there is a poster at the back that has text written in Hindi that reads ‘Players’ (‘खिलाड़ियों का’) and ‘Ceremony’ (‘समारोह’) written on it. Taking these clues, we performed a Google search using relevant keywords. This took us to a report by ETV Bharat published in September 2021. According to this report, the Sarvjati Kisan Garib Manch had organized a felicitation ceremony in Kharkhoda, Sonipat. In this programme, the winners of the Tokyo Olympics were honoured. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait was also present at this ceremony.
We also found a video related to this event. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait including the player present in the viral picture can be seen in this video. The poster is also clearly visible in this photo – ‘Felicitation Ceremony of Olympic Medalist and President Awardee Players’ (‘ओलंपिक पदक विजेता व राष्ट्रपति अवार्डी खिलाड़ियों का सम्मान समारोह’). In this video, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait made a statement saying that a player does not belong to any party, caste, or religion. A player should stay away from politics.
To sum it up, several social media users shared a picture from the players’ felicitation ceremony organized by Sarvjati Kisan Garib Manch in Kharkhoda, Sonepat, as a photo clicked at the farmers’ protest.
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