An old image of a Sikh man stepping on the Indian national flag has been revived to falsely claim that ‘terrorists’ have taken over the ongoing farmers’ protest.
The image could be traced back to August 2013, on a blog run by pro-Khalistan group ‘Dal Khalsa UK’. The Sikh man in the viral image is the group’s founder Manmohan Singh Khalsa.
Several users shared the image with the caption, “हमारे राष्ट्रीय ध्वज का अपमान करना ही किसान आंदोलन है, हमे धिक्कार है ऐसे किसान आंदोलन पर”
(Translation: “To insult our national flag is the farmers’ protest, we damn such farmers’ protest.”)
The Quint also received multiple queries regarding the image on its WhatsApp helpline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search led us to a tweet from 2019 with the original image, carrying a logo of the ‘Dal Khalsa UK’ and a date stamp of 15 August 2013, which has been cropped out of some of the claims.
A reverse image search of this image led us to a blog, run by the pro-Khalistan group, which stated that the the image was taken on 15 August 2013, when Sikhs, Kashmiris and other minority groups had gathered outside the Indian High Commission in Central London to “protest against Indian Oppression and Occupation.”
The Quint has not independently verified the veracity of this event as claimed on the blog. We also found a video of a similar rally in August 2015, where anti-India slogans were raised, on their YouTube channel.
Going through the archives of the blog, we also found an image of Manmohan Singh Khalsa, the group’s founder and the man in the viral image.