Around 93 houses near Cooum river in Radhakrishan Nagar in Arumbakkam, Chennai were evicted by the officials. Few pictures are doing rounds on social media including the ones with Ambedkar sketch on the destructed walls of the house. Nevertheless, few of the pictures claiming to be the pictures from Arumbakkam are old pictures.
A picture with quotes in Tamil stating “Education is here; Where is the house? Business is here; Where is the house?” near Ambedkar’s sketch seems to be circulated on social media platforms including WhatsApp and Twitter. Director Pa.Ranjith too has shared a tweet with this picture.
What is the truth?
When we reverse image searched the viral picture, an unedited version of this picture is found in an article dated 27th January 2021 on the ‘English.madhyamam’ website with a caption “Dalit lives in Thangavel street”.
This picture with Ambedkar sketch on one of the destructed walls is also been circulated claiming to be a picture from Radhakrishnan Nagar.
But this picture too was captured during the eviction of houses in Thangavel street in evacuating Dalits. This picture can be seen on the ‘English.madhyamam’ website dating back to 27th January 2021.
Pictures 3 & 4
The next set of viral pictures are the ones with kids standing on the ruins of destructed houses and a set of people sitting in front of a house in a narrow street.
With reverse image search, the third picture was found in ‘The Hindu’ dated 2019 December captioning it as “Drive to evict over 2000 families in Sathyamurthy Nagar begins”. The fourth picture was found in an article dated 2017 on ‘thebetterindia’ website stating it as “1.48 Lakhfamilies of slum dwellers in Chennai to get houses within the city”.
This viral picture where a lady is holding a kid is claiming to be one from Arumbakkam.
When this image is reverse searched, it resulted in an article dated December 2020 with the caption “May 17 movement has condemned the government authorities for the eviction of slum dwellers living along the Cooum river in Gandhi Nagar, Chennai”.
This picture where the kids collect wooden logs from the ruins of restricted houses is also viral on social media claiming to be a picture from Arumbakkam.
A reverse image search of this picture resulted in a ‘New Indian Express’ article dated December 2020 stating it as the eviction of families in the Cooum area in SM Nagar.
Pictures claiming as the ones from Arumbakkam are old pictures. Though these pictures were captured during the eviction of houses near Cooum, they were captured months and years back. Pictures dating back to January 2021 and December 2020 during the eviction drive of slum dwellers are claimed as recent pictures from Arumbakkam.