Fact check: No, this video does not show an effigy of PM Imran Khan being burnt

Video actually shows a 2015 anti-govt protest in Indian town of Shimla

Afp February 21, 2019
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post. PHOTO: AFP

Facebook posts claim a video that has been viewed tens of thousands of times shows protesters setting fire to an effigy of Prime Minister Imran Khan. This claim is false; the video actually shows a 2015 anti-government protest in the Indian town of Shimla, where an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was burnt.

The video, for example in this February 20, 2019 Facebook post where it has been viewed more than 73,000 times, shows a crowd setting fire to a life-size effigy of a man.


In the footage, the flames engulf the people standing around the effigy. The crowd quickly disperses, with some people still on fire. In one of the shots, a man is seen moaning in pain with his mouth open.

The post's caption in Urdu reads: "They were going to set on fire an effigy of Imran Khan. Their own mouth remained opened."

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The same video has been shared multiple times on Facebook with similar captions, for example here with more than 51,000 views.


Some of the posts' captions claim the event took place in India or say that Indians burned the effigy of Khan, for example here with more than two thousand views.


A reverse image search using key frames obtained through verification tool InVID shows that the same video was shared online more than three years ago.

The footage actually shows a protest on December 14, 2015 by supporters of India's Congress party in Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh state.

For example, the exact same footage appears in this YouTube video published by the Indian Express on their official YouTube channel on December 14, 2015.

The video caption says: "Several Congress activists on Monday suffered burn injuries while trying to burn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigy in the Himachal Pradesh capital, police said.

Other mainstream news outlets also used the footage in reports on the December 2015 incident, for example ABP news network and India Today.


RK Singh | 2 years ago | Reply Imran Khan is as big a star in India as Pakistan. Nobody will burn his effigy. More people here are willing to burn effigies of Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
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