An old image of the former vice president of Sikh separatists' outfit Dal Khalsa International, Manmohan Singh Khalsa, demonstrating against the Indian government in United Kingdom by disrespecting the tricolour is viral as recent in the backdrop of the farmers' protest.
The image shows the late Manmohan Singh Khalsa placing a pair of his shoe on the Indian national flag, along with two others who stand on the flag as an act of protest; it is being shared with claims that the farmers' protests are backed by anti-India sentiments.
BOOM found the same image has been present on the internet since 2013.
Manmohan Singh Khalsa, photographed in the viral image died in 2017. Dal Khalsa UK is a is a Britain based unit of Dal Khalsa, a pro-Khalistani Sikh organisation.
The viral Facebook posts claim in Hindi: "It is not rocket science to understand what is going on under the guise of Kisaan Andolan."
(Original text: किसान आंदोलन की आड़ में क्या चल रहा है ये समझना कोई राकेट साइंस नहीं...)
BOOM has received the same image on its tipline for verification as well.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting the contentious farm laws legislated by the Central government and demanding their repeal. Talks between the government and farmers' representatives of protesting unions remained inconclusive till December 5 as the latter rejected the offer of amendment of the farm laws and demanded a complete repeal of all the three of them.
We ran a reverse image search and found numerous Twitter handles sharing the same photograph in 2019. In one such tweet, tweeted on August 21, 2019, we found the full photograph with a date-stamp of '15/8/2013' and a logo of Dal Khalsa UK. The recent viral photographs have been mischievously cropped to omit the same.
The larger image appears to show that the photograph was taken at an event in 2013.
BOOM was unable to find any video footage of the same event. However, the search led us to videos of Manmohan Singh Khalsa delivering speeches at several such demonstration in the UK.
We then ran a subsequent reverse image search on the larger image and found a blogspot post with the title "Indian Independence Day Protest Indian High Commission London 15th August 2013" featuring the viral photograph.
The blog post features several images from an event organised on August 15, 2013, in Central London to protest against the 'Indian oppression towards the Sikh community'.
An excerpt of the Blog reads, "Sikhs, Kashmiris & other minority groups gathered on the 15th of August 2013 in Central London to protest against Indian Oppression & Occupation. Since 1947 the Sikh Nation has been under Indian Occupation with numerous attempts to destroy the Sikh Homeland in Panjab & the Sikh Nation climaxing in a Genocide in 1984. Since then no stone has been left unturned to crush the Sikh Nation be it socially, economically, politically, religiously & even environmentally."
While the picture is at least seven-year-old, BOOM could not independently establish the veracity of the event.
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