A photo from 2019 of a Sikh activist demanding the release of Kashmiri seperatist leaders is being shared falsely claiming that it shows a scene at the ongoing farmers' protests.
The photo which was shared by Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Naveen Kumar is from 2019 when Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) members organised a protest against the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent communication and physical lockdown imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. BOOM traced the man in the photo as one Angad Singh who confirmed that the photo is old and further said that he is not at the ongoing farmers protest in Delhi.
This is being shared in the backdrop of the ongoing protest at different borders of Delhi which has seen farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh camping there since November 26, 2020. The farmers have been demanding the repeal of three Farm Bills passed by the central government last year.
In the viral photo, a turban wearing Sikh can be seen holding a placard that reads, "Release All Mainstream and Pro-Freedom Kashmiri leadership". We can also see 'Dal Khalsa and SAD Amritsar' written on the bottom of the poster. Delhi BJP Media Head Naveen Kumar shared the same with a caption in Hindi that translates to, "In the last 3 decades, terrorists have taken away thousands of people from the lap of mothers and then leaders of Hurriyat stood in support of those terrorists, the heart cried a lot. now when Narendra Modi ji locked them in jail, then in the farmers' movement the young man wants to liberate them, seeing that the soul of his ancestors would also cry."
(In Hindi - पिछले 3 दशक मे आतंकवादियों ने हज़ारों माँ की कोक उजाड़ दी और जब उन आतंकी के समर्थन मे हुर्रियत के नेता खड़े होते थे मन बेहद रोता था। अब जब @narendramodi जी ने उनको जेल मे बंद कर दिया तो किसान आंदोलन में युवक उन्हीं को आज़ाद कराना चाहता है ये देख इसके पूर्वज की आत्मा भी रोती होगी)
Viral on Facebook
On searching with the same caption on Facebook, we found that the photo is viral with the false claim.
BOOM found that the viral photo is from December 9, 2019, from a protest march organised by Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) members on the eve of World Human Rights Day against the communication blockade in Kashmir and the arrest of Kashmiri separatists and political leaders post the abolition of Article 370.
We searched for 'Dal Khalsa' and found the same photo in an article tweeted by the organisation on March 11, 2020.
We then contacted Dal Khalsa, who said that the picture photo is from a protest march held on December 9, 2019. The protest co-organised with SAD (A) in Punjab was against the political situation in Kashmir. Dal Khalsa confirmed that the picture is not connected to the farmers' protests as being claimed online.
BOOM found that the man holding the placard is Angad Singh who confirmed that the image is old and unrelated. "This photo is from December 2019 during a protest march from Amritsar, Punjab. The march was to be held in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir on the eve on World Human Rights Day against the siege and crackdown in the state with phone networks banned and political leaders jailed," said Singh
Singh explained that the protesters were not allowed to enter Jammu and were stopped at the Madhopur-Kathua interstate border in Punjab, close to Jammu and the location where the picture was clicked. "This is not at all related to the farmers' protests as I am in Srinagar, Jammu And Kashmir and have not even been to Punjab or Delhi for the past four months," said Singh
We also found a news report by The Tribune on the protest march which said that, activists of the Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) were barred from entering Jammu and Kashmir on December 9, 2019 with officials citing threat to law and order in the state. The article also confirmed the dates - December 9 and 10, 2019 and said that the protesters were carrying placards seeking release of political prisoners in Kashmir and Punjab. The description of the protest in The Tribune matches the content of the placard in the viral image.
We then looked for photos from the march and found photos from December 9, 2019, where we can spot Singh standing wearing the same clothes and holding the same placard.
We can also see Singh in this video report on the protest march uploaded on December 9, 2019, by Jammu Links News
Click here to view
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests with protesters being targeted with fake news and old photos and videos being shared as recent.
Follow BOOM's thread on misinformation around the farmers' protests.
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