A video showing Army personnel chanting “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal,” while raising the Nishan Sahib, a Sikh religious triangular flag is going viral on social media platforms.
The claim comes shortly after satellite imagery and reports of China building a bridge on the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh emerged. The bridge is expected to join the northern and southern banks of the lake, facilitating quick movement of the Chinese army and its weaponry.
However, the claim is misleading. We found that the video showed Army personnel raising the Nishan Sahib at the Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, 20 kilometres from Leh.
Speaking to The Quint, the Indian Army's Public Relations Officer (PRO) Colonel Sudhir Chamoli confirmed that the Gurdwara is nowhere close to the Indo-China border.
The video is going viral on social media to claim that its shows a Gurdwara built by the Indian Army’s Sikh Regiment near the Indo-China border. Some versions of the claim call it ‘Modi government’s gift.’
At the time of writing this article, this video shared by Facebook user Harpal Singh had been shared over 10,000 times and had garnered nearly 2.5 lakh views.
A shorter version of the claim was also shared by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Varanasi Saurabh Srivastava and Dr Richa Rajpoot, social media head for Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Using the keywords ‘Indian Army Nishan Sahib,’ we looked for the video on YouTube.
Here, we found a video that was uploaded by the channel ‘Auckland Desi’ on 25 October, 2021. The video’s title mentioned that it showed the Indian Army installing an 80 feet tall Nishan Sahib at the Gurdwara Shri Pathar Sahib in Leh.
Taking a clue from here we carried out a keyword search on Google and came across a video uploaded to PTC Punjabi UK’s verified Facebook page.
The video showed Indian Army personnel preparing the 80-feet long flagpole and subsequently installing the Nishan Sahib atop it. The flag is then raised amid chants and drum rolls.
Further, we also saw that the video was shared by Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) Delhi President Harmeet Singh Kalka in October last year.
We looked the Gurdwara up on Google Maps, and found that it was not close to the Indo-China border.
India’s tourism campaign website Incredible India also mentions that the Gurdwara is located along the Kargil-Leh highway in Ladakh.
Comparing stills from the video to photographs of the Gurdwara as seen on Shutterstock, we were able to confirm that the video was shot at Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, as the archway and the building's colour matched, along with a few other elements.
Next, we reached out to Indian Army’s public relations officer (PRO) Colonel Sudhir Chamoli, who confirmed that the Gurdwara in the video was “nowhere near the Indo-China border.”
He added that it was between Leh and Kargil and was visited by Sikh leader Guru Nanak 400 years ago.
Evidently, the viral video does not show a Gurdwara constructed by the Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army along the Indo-China border. The video shows Army personnel raising the Nishan Sahib at Leh’s Gurdwara Pathar Sahib in the union territory of Ladakh.