A 2019 video showing Nihang Sikhs attacking a bus driver has been revived with captions that do not make it clear the video is old and hashtags that link the clip to current events.
BOOM found that the incident is from September 2019 when a Pepsu Road transport Corporation (PRTC) bus en route to Kapurthala was stopped by Nihang Sikhs and its driver was attacked. The bus had reportedly hit one of the horses in the Nihang cavalcade.
The video has been revived in the backdrop of the violent clashes between protesting farmers and Delhi police on January 26 this year. The farmers protesting on the border of Delhi against the three Farm laws passed last year had taken out a tractor rally on the Republic Day. The rally had later deviated from its original route resulting in violence in some parts of Delhi. The protestors had also gained entry into the Red Fort and hoisted religious flags there.
Right-wing TV channel Sudarshan News tweeted the video with a Hindi caption translating to 'With great patience the country is watching everything...not just the perpetrators but also those who support them'. The hashtags used by Sudarshan News - #IndiaAgainstPropaganda, #KhalistaniExposed - are the ones trending on Twitter in the recent days.
(Hindi: बड़े धैर्य के साथ देश देख रहा है ये सब कुछ...सिर्फ करने वालों को नहीं...उनका साथ भी देने वालों को..)
The viral video shows a group of Nihang Sikhs attacking the driver of a bus parked by the side of a road. The driver manages to escape as soon as he gets a chance.
The video has also been shared on Facebook by right wing page Nation With Namo with a caption 'The nation is watching these treasonous events closely, and the nation will neither forive nor forget (Sic.)'.
Another caption written over the video reads 'Swordsmen attack Punjab Road Transport Corporation bus, threaten drive. Those who still support these violent agitators need to introspect what they actually stand for' .
The viral post can be seen below and their archived version can be checked here.
The video is quite viral on Facebook with similar claims.
BOOM watched the video closely and saw PRTC written on the bus' windshield. Taking cue, we did a keyword search with 'Nihangs attack PRTC bus' and found several YouTube videos sharing the clip. Watch here and here. We also found news reports about the incident.
According to a report published in The Tribune on September 20, 2019, the incident took place a couple of days before the video went viral. According to the report, a group of Nihangs had vandalised a Kapurthala depot bus with swords and sharp weapons. The article further states that the incident reportedly happened after the bus had allegedly accidentally hit one of the horses of the Nihangs.
The same video was uploaded by a YouTube channel India News Punjab Live on September 21, 2019.
We also found reports published by Hindi dailies Amar Ujala and Dainik Bhaskar (watch the video by Dainik Bhaskar here) on the same incident. Dainik Bhaskar had published a screenshot of the viral video which corroborated that the incident is old.
According to the Dainik Bhaskar report, the bus plied between Nakodar and Kapurthala in the early morning slot. It was en route to Kapurthala when the group of Nihangs threatened the driver Nirmal Singh.