Fact Check: Old photo from London passed off as farmers disrespecting Tricolour

Amid the ongoing farmers' protest in Delhi, a picture has gone viral on social media with the claim that it shows protesting farmers disrespecting the Indian national flag.

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The image going viral on social media.

A picture of two men standing on the Indian national flag is circulating on social media with the claim that protesting farmers have disrespected the Tricolour. Another man in a turban is seen holding his shoe over the flag, which is laid on the street.

The caption in Hindi along with the picture translates to, “If disrespecting the national flag is farmers’ movement, then I spit on such a movement. Shame on such farmers’ movement! These people cannot be farmers. They are traitors and should be arrested for sedition.”

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the picture was taken in London on India’s Independence Day in 2013 during a protest by Khalistani supporters. It has nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protest.

The misleading post is being shared on Facebook and Twitter. The archived version can be seen here.

AFWA investigation

With the help of reverse image search, we found the viral picture in a blog named “Dal Khalsa UK”, along with similar pictures of people disrespecting the Tricolour. The blog was published on August 17, 2013.

As per the blog, the pictures were clicked on August 15, 2013, during a protest by “Sikhs, Kashmiris & other minority groups” near the Indian High Commission in central London. The protest was against “Indian Oppression” on Sikhs and “Occupation” of Punjab, the blog said. A timestamp of 15/08/2013 can also be seen in the picture.

AFWA found that the blog is associated with radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa. It carries pictures and slogans in support of Khalistan and extremist Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The partially cropped logo of “Dal Khalsa UK” can also be seen in the viral picture.

We also found the YouTube channel of “Dal Khalsa UK”, which had uploaded video clips in 2010 and 2015 of people from the Sikh community and others protesting against India on her Independence Day in London.

Some pictures of “Dal Khalsa UK” protests are also available on Alamy. Our investigation further reveals that the Sikh man seen in the viral picture is a member of “Dal Khalsa UK” named Sardar Manmohan Singh Khalsa.

Hence, it can be said that the picture of some people disrespecting the Indian national flag is not from the ongoing farmers’ protest. The picture is more than seven years old and of some Khalistani supporters in London.

INDIA TODAY FACT CHECK
ClaimPicture shows protesting farmers disrespecting the Indian national flag.ConclusionThe picture was taken in London on India’s Independence Day in 2013. People seen in the picture are Khalistani supporters.
JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 Crow: Half True
  • 2 Crows: Mostly lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely false
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