Image altered to mock Indian political opposition party

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Several accounts on Facebook have shared an image of members of the opposition Indian National Congress party sitting in front of a banner saying, "Chor [thief] group meeting." However, the image has been altered -- the original photo is from 2019 and in it, the banner does not have those words printed on it. 

The image was shared on Facebook here on August 23, 2021, by an account with over 400,000 followers. The photo has since gained more than 2,000 reactions. 

The picture appears to show a meeting involving high-profile Congress party members, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, interim party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. The banner behind them reads: "Indian National Congress. Chor Group meeting."

'Chor' means 'thief' in Hindi. 

The caption to the post reads, "Finally the family accepts who they are!"

Screnshot of misleading post taken on August 31, 2021

Although many people appear to have shared the post as satire, the original poster repeatedly insisted in the post's comments that the image was not edited.

Some people appear to have been misled by the post -- for example, one user wrote: "Please deeply look at the poster the space between the words is same the word core group appears to have been mis-spelled. The poster doesn't appear to be edited."

Screenshot of comments under original post, taken 31 August 2021

The image was also shared by multiple other accounts on Facebook such as here, here and here

However, the image has been altered -- the second line of text on the banner has been added in. 

A reverse image search on TinEye shows that the original photo was taken in 2019 during a Congress Working Committee meeting.

It was shared in this report by Indian media outlet Zee News. In the original photo the banner only reads "Indian National Congress" in English and Hindi. It does not have the words "Chor group meeting" printed on it. 

A similar photo from the same event was used in this report by news website Mathrubhumi. The caption to the photo reads: "Congress President Rahul Gandhi with senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and others at the Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI." 

The photo used in the news report by Mathrubhumi can be found in the archives of Press Trust of India (PTI). 

Below is a comparison between the altered image shared on Facebook (L) and the original photo found on the website of Zee News (R).