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Fact-Check: Flag Hoisted Atop Red Fort by Farmers Not Khalistan’s

Visuals and reporters on the ground confirmed that the flags that were raised were not Khalistan ones.

Updated
WebQoof
4 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Several protesting farmers on Tuesday, 26 January entered the Red Fort in Delhi and waved flags from the ramparts of the fort, as clashes between farmers and the police erupted in several parts of the national capital amid the ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’.

Soon after, several social media users claimed that the flags that were waved at the Red Fort are “Khalistani” ones. A few users, including senior journalists and politicians, went ahead and claimed that the national flag was ‘supplanted’. (You can read our report on that here.)

However, visual elements and reporters on the ground confirmed that the flags that were raised were not Khalistan flags. One was the Sikh religious flag Nishan sahib, and the other was a farmers’ flag.

CLAIM

Twitter user Ankit Jain, with over a lakh followers, tweeted that the tricolour was “replaced by Khalistan flag.”

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/Bnulv">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Another verified Twitter account ‘Pakistan First’ also shared images of the Red Fort with the same claim with his 61.8k followers.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/GANoY">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Film Critic and Trade Analyst Sumit Kadel quote-tweeted visuals shared by ANI and wrote: “Khalistan Flag hoisted on Red Fort.. BIACK DAY FOR INDIA..(sic)”

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/DBiaw">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Kreately, a blog which has been called out before for sharing misinformation in the past, shared a set of images with one showing a man holding a poster that reads “We want Khalistan” and other one showing a visual of Red Fort.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/UIJFK">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Several other verified users shared images claiming that the Khalistani flag was hoisted and an archived version of the tweet can be seen here and here.

The claim was shared massively on Facebook as well.

Fact-Check: Flag Hoisted Atop Red Fort by Farmers Not Khalistan’s
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

The Quint’s reporter Shadab Moizee, who was present at Red Fort, confirmed to us that the two flags that were hoisted were not Khalistan flags. One was the Sikh religious flag Nishan sahib (The orange flag), and the other was a farmers’ flag.

We also compared the orange flag with the Nishan Sahib, which is seen atop religious places to establish that the two are the same.

(L) Image from Red Fort; (R) Image of Nishan Sahib
(L) Image from Red Fort; (R) Image of Nishan Sahib
(Source: PTI/Google/Altered by The Quint)

We then compared the two flags with the Khalistan flag to show that the two are different.

Fact-Check: Flag Hoisted Atop Red Fort by Farmers Not Khalistan’s
(Source: ANI/Gurvinder Singh/Altered by The Quint)
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While we have not been able to identify the organisation the yellow flag belongs to, but the visual comparison establishes that none of the two flags were Khalistan flags.

Speaking to The Quint’s WebQoof team, Navjot Randhawan, a journalist with Aaj Tak, who was at Red Fort, too confirmed that the flag was Nishan Sahib while the other one was a farmers’ flag.

We also spoke to author Amandeep Sandhu who has written extensively on Punjab and he told us, “Whether yellow or saffron, triangular flags with the Khanda – two swords – are Sikh flags. They are not Khalistan flags. In fact, there is no established or legitimate Khalistan flag.”

He further said that the hosting of this flag was symbolic but added that there was no call to do it and it was not a part of any union’s program.

Moreover, the claim about the national flag being ‘supplanted’ isn’t true and the visuals provide a clear evidence.

Fact-Check: Flag Hoisted Atop Red Fort by Farmers Not Khalistan’s
(Source: Shadab Moizee/The Quint)

SEVERAL JOURNALISTS TOOK TO TWITTER TO CLARIFY

Several journalists took to Twitter to state that the flags hoisted at the Red Fort are Nishan Sahib flags.

Although violence ensued in various parts of Delhi following the tractor rally, but the narrative which was being created around the Khalistan flags being hoisted is completely false.

(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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