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Old Photo Used to Falsely Link ‘Khalistan’ With Farmers’ Protest

We traced the viral image to an old protest by the Sikh community in the United States.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read
Image of Sikh protesters stepping over India’s national flag is doing the rounds on social media with misleading claims.
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As farmers from across north India continue protesting the new farm reforms at the borders of Delhi, an image of Sikh protesters stepping over India’s national flag is doing the rounds on social media to insinuate that the ongoing protests have been “hijacked” by anti-India elements.

However, contrary to the claim, we traced the viral image to a protest by the Sikh community in the United States which happened in or before 2013.

CLAIM

The aforementioned image is massively viral on Facebook and Twitter with the same misleading claim. A version of the claim on Facebook reads: “तथाकथित इन किसानआंदोलनकारियों को राष्ट्रीय झंडा से क्यों दुश्मनी है।इसलिए बार-बार बोल रहा हूँ कि ये किसान आंदोलन नही शाहीनबाग 2 का प्रयोग कर रहा है इसे शक्ति से कुचलना चाहिए।

[Translation: What animosity do these so called protesters have with India’s national flag? I am reiterating it again: These are not farmers. This is Shaheen Bagh 2.0 and should be crushed using force.]

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An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/CRqcm">here</a>.
An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/dNMsC">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)
An archived version of this tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/SS1iy">here</a>.
An archived version of this tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND

We ran a reverse image search on the viral photo and came across a Facebook post dated 10 August 2014 which carried the same image.

An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/zlpGD">here</a>.
An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The image was also found in a tweet from 2014 and blogpost from 2013.

Next, we searched Google with “Khalistani Youth insulting Indian Flag” and narrowed the search to a duration between 1 January 2013 - 31 December 2014. This directed us to a YouTube video uploaded by a channel called Khalsa Foundation USA on 19 August 2013.

At 5 minute 54 seconds counter into the video, we saw the same man who can be seen standing in the viral image.

Old Photo Used to Falsely Link ‘Khalistan’  With Farmers’ Protest
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

While The Quint hasn’t been able to independently verify the event where the video was recorded, it has been on the internet since 2013 — much before the ongoing farmers’ agitation started.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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