(Editor’s Note: The story is being republished from The Quint’s archives in the light of the same video being shared in the context of the violence that occurred during the farmer’s tractor rally on Republic Day.)
An old video of Sikh men brandishing swords in Punjab’s Beas has been revived amid the farmers’ protest to falsely claim that ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised by the farmers while protesting against the farm laws.
The video is from May 2016 when radical Sikh groups had reportedly gathered at the Beas bridge as a challenge against Hindu right-wing group Shiv Sena’s call for a “lalkar rally.”
Several users shared the video with the caption, “नाम किसान आंदोलन,और हाथों में हत्यार और खालिसतान के नारे |“
(Translation: “It’s called farmers’ protest but they have weapons in hands and are raising slogans of Khalistan.”)
The Quint also received multiple queries regarding the video on its WhatsApp helpline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search led us to a YouTube video titled, “Rajkarga khalsa khalistan zindabad ( shiv Sena not come to Amritsar) (sic)” from March 2020.
A keyword search of the same led us to the original video uploaded on 26 May 2016 by Khalsa Gatka Group’s YouTube channel, titled, “Live From Beas (Shiv Sena not Come to Amritsar)”
We also found a news report by Hindustan Times, dated 25 May 2016, stating that “Even as Hindu right wing Shiv Sena had called off its Lalkar rally about three days back, Sikh hardliners assembled at the proposed site—the Beas bridge—on the National Highway -1 on Wednesday to challenge them.”
The rally was organised by Dhian Singh Mand, acting Akal Takht Jathedar appointed at radical’s Sarbat Khalsa and other leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Sikh Youth Federation (Bhindranwala) and Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee.
The Times of India also reported that Sikh radical groups had raised “provocative slogans in the presence of cops.”
The police had put Shiv Sena and Sikh leaders under house arrest to prevent a clash between the two communities, however, Sikh youths managed to reach the venue.
Evidently, an old video from 2016 has been revived to falsely claim that ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised during the ongoing farmers’ protest.