Fact-check: Photo shows arrested criminals, not PTI workers

The picture was taken in May 2022 in Rawalpindi after a police operation in the Chontra area to arrest hardcore criminals

Geo Fact-Check

A photo has been shared on social media alongside a claim that it shows workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who were arrested on March 8 from Lahore, being mistreated by the Punjab police.

The claim is false.


On March 9, a day after PTI’s political rally in Lahore, a verified Twitter account posted a photo showing young men in handcuffs lying on the ground, as the police stood watching.

“They are ending the fear of the people,” the caption read.

The tweet had been viewed over 200,000 times and liked 11,000 times, at the time of writing.

A similar claim was shared by another Twitter user, who wrote: “Why are you just standing by? Put your knee on their necks too.” The tweet was shared with the hashtag #ImranKhanIsOurRedLine.

“Is this occupied Pakistan?” a Twitter account tweeted.


In reality, the picture was taken in May 2022, in Rawalpindi, Punjab, after a police operation in the Chontra area of the city. Several hardcore criminals and militants, who were involved in land grabbing, were arrested.

Last year, the Rawalpindi police also tweeted this exact picture, as well as others of the arms and ammunition recovered from the men.

Geo Fact Check also reached out to Shahzaib Hasnain, the public relations officer of the Superintendent Police of Saddar Division, Rawalpindi, to confirm the date of the picture.

“This [photo] is seven to eight months old from the Chontra operation,” he said, over the phone.

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