On January 10, 2020, Assam BJP minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted an image where a crowd gathered at an anti-CAA rally was compared with the one at a pro-CAA rally in Dhemaji, Assam.
“Here are 2 Dhemaji pictures that sum up the mood in Assam. Need I say more?” said Sarma, tweeting the image.
Sarma intended to portray a much larger gathering at the pro-CAA rally.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 10, 2020
Cropped image of anti-CAA rally
Alt News found that the image of the anti-CAA protest organised in Dhemaji is misleading.
A video of the rally organised by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on January 9, 2020, clearly depicts that the picture used in the comparison by Sarma shows a smaller crowd than in reality. Below is a drone video of the rally tweeted by Assam journalist Atanu Bhuyan.
Challenging BJP’s peace rally in Dhemaji yesterday, Jatiya Sangathans organised another rally in Dhemaji today. A sea of people spontaneously participated in the rally #CAAProtests pic.twitter.com/ekc68s4AsT
— atanu bhuyan (@atanubhuyan) January 9, 2020
Twitter user Sanjib Gogoi also posted an image that gives an aerial view of the rally in Dhemaji, Assam.
— Sanjib gogoi (@SanjibgogoiASM) January 9, 2020
In the comparison below, a drone’s eye view of the anti-CAA rally is compared with the image shared by Sarma on Twitter.
This can also be corroborated with pictures tweeted by Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the general secretary of AASU.
সদৌ অসম ছাত্র সন্থাৰ আহ্বানত নাগৰিকত্ব সংশোধনী আইন, ২০১৯ বাতিলৰ দাবীত আজি ধেমাজি জিলা ছাত্র সন্থাৰ উদ্যোগত ধেমাজি কাছাৰী ময়দানত অনুস্থিত ‘ৰণশিঙা’ কাৰ্যসূচীত অংশ গ্ৰহণৰ মুহূৰ্তত…. pic.twitter.com/UEePspOfty
— Lurinjyoti Gogoi (@lurinjtgogoi) January 9, 2020
Several other pictures taken from a different angle give a better view of the mass gathering at the anti-CAA rally.
— Axom (@Axom31485293) January 9, 2020
In conclusion, Himanta Biswa Sarma misleadingly compared a cropped image of an anti-CAA rally with a pro-CAA rally to portray mass support for the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.