A photo of a gathering in Punjab in support of Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha is being shared with a false claim that it shows Sikhs protesting against the screening of the movie.
BOOM found that the photo shows activists of the Sikh Tal-Mel Committee held a protest demanding that the movie screening not be cancelled after the local wing of the Shiv Sena demanded for screenings to be cancelled.
Laal Singh Chaddha, directed by Advait Chandan, was released on August 11, 2022, and stars Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Naga Chaitanya. The film is an adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood classic Forrest Gump.
The movie has faced calls for a boycott by several right-wing groups across the country with them targetting Khan calling him 'anti-Hindu' and refering to his past comments about not feeling safe in India.
The viral photo shows a group of Sikh men holding posters of the movie in their hands and is shared with a caption that translates to, "Protest against Lal Singh Chadda in Jalandhar, slogans of down with Aamir Khan raised"
(In Hindi - लाल सिंह चड्ढा का जालंधर में विरोध, लगे आमिर खान मुर्दाबाद के नारे #BoycottLalSinghChadda)
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Former BJP Haryana IT Cell chief Arun Yadav also tweeted the viral photo with the same caption. Even after several social media users pointed out that it is not from a protest against but in favour of the movie, Yadav still did not delete his tweet and shared an Aaj Tak article that had used the viral photo as a featured image in an article on protests against the movie in Jalandhar. The featured image of Aaj Tak has since been changed.
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The same photo is being widely shared with the misleading claim on Facebook.
BOOM found that the viral photo of the group of Sikh men holding Laal Singh Chaddha posters is from a protest in favour of screening the movie at a cinema hall in Jalandhar, Punjab after it was opposed by Shiv Sena activists.
On running a keyword search with 'Jalandhar, Aamir Khan, Laal Singh Chaddha', we found news reports on the incident which confirmed that the group of men seen in the viral photo were protesting in favour of the movie.
The Indian Express had a similar photo where two of the protesters from the viral photo can be seen. The photo was captioned, "Sikhs protest in favour of Laal Singh Chaddha" by Indian Express in their story.
The Indian Express reported on August 12, 2022, that Laal Singh Chaddha had faced protests in Punjab's Jalandhar during its screening at a PVR cineplex after one group, led by Shiv Sena, gathered outside the movie hall and protested against it, consequently bringing a halt to the screening.
The report further added that on getting to know about this, Sikh organisations also reached the spot and raised slogans in favour of the movie. They said that the movie is based on the character of a Sikh man and Hindu organisations have no right to stop the screening of it.
On comparing the viral photo with the photo published by The Indian Express, we can spot two same protesters in both these images.
Additionally, The Tribune also reported on the incident identifying the group as activists from Sikh Tal-Mel Committee who had reached the MBD mall in Jalandhar to counter the Shiv Sena protesters.
We also found a video report by The Tribune's reporter Avneet Kaur who spoke to the sikh protesters who were protesting in support of the movie. During this video report, we spotted two protesters who are also there in the viral photo.
A comparison can be seen below
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