A collage of three old images of groups disrespecting the Indian national flag has resurfaced in the backdrop of the ongoing farmers' protest with claims that the demonstrating farmers have been burning the tricolour.
The images are viral to support the narrative that the protests have been driven by anti-India sentiments.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other northern states are gathering around the borders of Delhi to protest against the contentious farm bills introduced by the government. Various farmer unions had called for a total shutdown (Bharat Bandh) on December 8, after the government failed to meet their demands.
The viral post shows a collage of three images of protesters disrespecting the Indian national flag by stepping on it, garlanding it with shoes and burning it, respectively.
The caption of the post in Bangla reads, ''Flag of India being burnt in the farmers' movement. Now think who has been involved in the movement.'' (Original text in Bangla: ''কৃষক আন্দোলনে ভারতের পতাকা পুড়ানো হচ্ছে।।এবার ভাবুন আন্দোলন কারা করছে।'')
Archive of the post can be seen here.
Another such post can be seen below. Archive can be seen here.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on each of the images in the collage and found they are old and unrelated.
Upon reverse image search, we found Facebook posts from August 2014 featuring the same image. The caption of one such post reads, "Share this picture everywhere and show how they disrespect India and it should reach the Indian government.''
We were also led to a blog titled Hate India End India where the above image was posted on December 13, 2013 with a headline: Khalistan Youth. While BOOM was not independently able to verify the veracity of the image, it has been present on the internet since 2013.
Upon running a reverse image search, BOOM found this image in a Flickr account by a user named Harpeet Dhillon. Dhillon shared multiple other images of a protest by Sikhs in the United States. The image was posted on August 16, 2009 in an album by the user titled ''Protest against 15th August India Independence Parade in Fremont, CA''.
A reverse image search on this image took us to a Pakistani website, Siasat.pk, which had posted the same image in an article titled, ''Liberate Khalistan trend gets momentum on Twitter'' on July 12, 2015.
We also found some tweets on #LiberateKhalistan
While we could not independently verify the time and location of each of the image, it is clear that all the three have been present on the internet years before the farmers' agitation gained momentum.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests. Read below.
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