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Fact Check

Old Clip Of Nihang Sikh Protester Wielding Sword At Cops Viral As Recent

BOOM found that the video is at least as old as January 2021 and unrelated to the ongoing farmers' agitation.

By - Hazel Gandhi | 17 Feb 2024 11:07 AM GMT

An old video showing a group of Nihang Sikhs wielding their swords and attacking policemen has been revived on social media, and is being falsely linked to the ongoing farmers' protest outside Delhi.

BOOM found that the video has been circulating online since January 2021, with reports linking it to the confrontation between protesters and police during the Republic Day celebrations that year. It is therefore dated by over three years, and is unrelated to the recent protests by farmers.

About 200 farmers' unions belonging to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have organised a nation-wide 'Delhi Chalo' march to demand a law guaranteeing the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Other demands by the farmers include loan waivers and justice in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence of 2021. As the protesters draw closer to the capital, reports of drones, concrete blocks, barricades, and tear gas being used by authorities to deter them have emerged. In response, farmers have deployed the use of kites, jute sacs, and other creative solutions to defend themselves.

Amid this, a video purporting to show some Nihang Sikhs, also known as warrior Sikhs, attacking police personnel with swords is viral online as recent. A caption on X reads, "So-called farmers carrying swords and carrying out deadly attacks on the police ,, Imagine how much the police is tolerating!!"

(Original text in Hindi: "तलवार लेकर पुलिस पर जानलेवा हमला करते तथाकथित किसान,,सोचो आखिर पुलिस कितना बर्दाश्त कर रही है!!"




 Click here to view the post and here for an archive.

The video is being shared with a similar caption on Facebook.




Click here to view.


FACT CHECK


BOOM found that the video is at least as old as January 2021 and unrelated to the ongoing farmers' protest.

We ran a reverse image search of some key frames from the viral video on Google and found a post on X by Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary. The post was shared on January 27, 2021 and was an exact match to the viral video. The caption read, "Another picture of the peaceful protest of farmers."

(Original text in Hindi: "किसानों के शांतिपूर्ण विरोध प्रदर्शन की एक और तस्वीर।")



Click here for an archive.

A user on TikTok, @officialjss39, shared the video on January 29, 2021.




 We also found a video report by News18 Punjab/Haryana/Himachal published on January 27 that carried the viral video. The report was titled 'Another video from Delhi violence, over 300 policemen injured'

(Original text in Hindi: 'Delhi हिंसा का एक और वीडियो आया सामने, हमले में 300 से ज्यादा पुलिसकर्मी घायल')




 According to reports, Nihang Sikhs participated in a tractor rally organised by agitating farmers on January 26, 2021. The rally, headed towards Red Fort, faced intense clashes with the police who used tear gas and batons to restrict the farmers. The clashes left one protester dead and injured several others, including 300 policemen. 

Nihang Sikhs are permitted by tradition to carry weapons and have been known to protect demonstrators during the farmers' agitation by either patrolling the protest sites or confronting the police.

BOOM could not independently verify the exact time and location of the viral video, but it is old and predates the ongoing farmers' protest.