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.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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