A 2019 clip from the United States showing Sikh protesters chant pro-Khalistan slogans has been revived, falsely linking it to the ongoing farmers' protests. The clip has been tweeted by Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani-born Canadian columnist and a popular figure among the Indian right-wing, who has earlier been fact-checked by BOOM for peddling misinformation.
The video is being shared in the backdrop of thousands of protesting farmers from Punjab and Haryana who have camped at the national capital's border to demonstrate against the three new farm bills passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party led government. According to reports, there have been incidents of pro-Khalistan outfits holding protests as an act of solidarity, outside Indian embassies in the United Kingdom and Canada.
In the viral clip, Sikh protesters can be heard chanting slogans like "Kashmir banega Pakistan, Punjab banega Khalistan, Imran Khan Zindabad"
The viral clip was tweeted by Fatah with the caption, "#Sikhs in London chant: "Allah-O-Akbar" " #Kashmir banega #Pakistan" " #Punjab banega #Khalistan" @ImranKhanPTI Zindabad" Jihadi Khalistanis coming soon to a neighbourhood near you, courtesy Pakistan's ISI."
Right-wing website OpIndia published an article in Hindi on the viral video without stating that the video is old or not related to the recent farmers' protests.
The article was previously headlined which when translated reads "Slogans of Allah-Hu-Akbar, Punjab will become Khalistan, Kashmir Pakistan… in the name of movement! 'How are these Annadata?'", the website later changed the headline to "'Allah-Hu-Akbar, Kashmir Banega Pakistan' - Tariq Fateh shared video, people said- 'Don't call them Khalistani'".
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Viral on Facebook
On searching on Facebook, we found that the viral clip was being shared with false claims.
On breaking the viral clip into keyframes and performing a reverse image search, the search results showed that the viral clip dates back to November 2019 and is not recent. We found that the viral clip is from New York in 2019 and not from London as being falsely claimed.
We also found Facebook posts with the same viral clip uploaded in November 2019. A Facebook page Daily Jiddat Karachi had uploaded the same clip on November 7, 2019, with an Urdu caption which when translated reads, "Indeed, the one who gives honor is the essence of Allah. Indeed, the one who gives honor is the essence of Allah. He respects whomever He wills. What our politicians are against. People from other countries are chanting slogans in his favour."
The visuals and sloganeering in the clip match with the viral clip.
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Further, the placards held by protesters have text which reads "New York" and 'Modi' along with the United States flag.
We then searched with the keywords, 'Modi, New York, Kashmir, Khalistan' and found an Aljazeera article from September 29, 2019, which stated that thousands of protesters had rallied for human rights in Kashmir protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he delivered his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
We then searched on Facebook with the keywords 'United Nations', 'Modi', 'Khalistan' 'Kashmir' and found Facebook videos from the protest site in New York from September 2019. Protesters can be seen wearing similar T-shirts as in the viral clip and holding similar posters.
At the 12 seconds timestamp, we can see the same Modi poster as in the viral clip, additionally the buildings in the background also match.
We found that the posters, clothing of the protesters and the buildings in the background of the viral video match with those seen in 2019 Facebook videos from the New York protest.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests with protesters being targeted with fake news and old Pro-Khalistan photos and videos being shared as recent.
Follow BOOM's thread on misinformation around the farmers' protests.
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