2015 Image of Sikh Activist Falsely Linked to Farmers’ Protest
He has been demanding release of Sikh prisoners who are allegedly lodged in jail even after completing their terms.
A viral image claims to show Sikh activist Bapu Surat Singh going on a hunger strike to support the ongoing agitation against the contentious farm laws.
However, we found that the viral image is from 2015 and the said activist has been on a hunger strike to demand the release of Sikh prisoners who are allegedly lodged in jail even after completing their terms.
The claim along with the image reads: “बापूसूरतसिंह...ने अपनी किसान क़ौम के लिए अन्न जल त्याग दिए जनता अब भी साथ नहीं आइ तो आने वाले समय में उपवास जनता को करना होगा”
(Translated: Bapu Surat Singh has gone on a hunger strike to support the farmer community. If the public still doesn’t show support, then the public will have to fast in the coming days)
The image is being shared with hashtag ‘farmersrprotest’. The image shared by Facebook page ‘Kanhaiya Kumar-Youthicon’ had garnered over 1,700 shares at the time of publishing the article.
Several Facebook accounts followed suit and shared the image with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We ran a reverse image search and found an article from 2017 that carried the viral image and identified the man as Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa. We then searched for him on Google and found a Facebook page called ‘Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa - Sangharsh Jaari Hai.’
We found that the page had shared the viral image on 23 September 2015.
An Indian Express article from 2015 mentions that family of the Sikh activist had claimed that he had been on a hunger strike since January 2015. The report also stated that he had been demanding “the release of Sikh prisoners allegedly languishing in jails even after having completed their terms.”
A video that had gone viral then had reportedly showed the activist consuming dal, khichdi, among other things. However, his son had denied it and said that he was “force-fed in hospital under the influence of medicines”.
Evidently, an old image of Bapu Surat Singh was revived to falsely claim that he is practising hunger strike to support the ongoing farmers’ protest.
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