Farmers' Protests: How Old Visuals Were Used To Peddle A Pro-Khalistan Narrative

BOOM found that many of the posts alleging a pro-Khalistan angle to the farmers' protests used old and unrelated visuals.

The farmers' protests happening in Delhi has seen several fake claims being shared about the protest, the farmers' demands, intentions and the farmers themselves. With the majority of the protesting farmers being Sikh and from Punjab, one such trend has been the sharing of videos and photos from pro-Khalistan groups and rallies to claim that it shows scenes from the current protests.

Also Read: Why Are The Farm Reform Bills Stirring Protests Among Farmers?

These videos and images are being shared with a narrative that the protests are driven by anti-India sentiments and that the protesters are Sikh separatists - 'Khalistanis' to discredit the farmers' protesting. There have been media reports of incidents of groups raising slogans, making comments supporting the pro-Khalistani narrative, with certain outfits also holding protests outside Indian embassies in the United Kingdom and Canada.

But most of the posts viral on social media about the farmers' protests, alleging a pro-Khalistani are either old or had nothing to do with the protesting farmers and their demands.

Thousands of farmers mainly from Punjab and Haryana have camped at the national capital's border, few successfully having entered Delhi to protests against the three new farm bills passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party led central government. The farmers who have been protesting for months now, began the Delhi Chalo march and have said they will not leave till the government agrees to their demands.

BOOM lists examples of misinformation and fake news alleging a 'pro-Khalistan' angle

1. 2013 Photo Of Pro-Khalistan Banners Linked To Farmers' Protest

A seven-year-old photo showing a Sikh man holding a banner that read, "We want Khalistan", was shared falsely claiming that it is from the ongoing protests. BOOM found that the photo was shot at a 2013 gathering at the Golden Temple to mark the 29th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Read: 2013 Photo Of Pro-Khalistan Banners Linked To Farmers' Protest

Fake Post


2. 2018 Video Of Pro-Khalistan Rally In San Francisco Linked To Farmers' Protests

A two-year-old video of a rally held in San Francisco, United States by a pro-Khalistan organisation was shared falsely claiming it to be from the ongoing Delhi Chalo protests. In the video. In the 51-seconds clip, one can see protesters wearing pro-Khalistan t-shirts and shouting slogans like ''गली गली में शोर है भारत माता चोर है'."

BOOM found that the viral clip dates back to 2018 from San Francisco and is not linked to the ongoing farmers' protests.

Read: 2018 Video Of Pro-Khalistan Rally In US Falsely Linked To Farmers Stir

Fake Post

Click here to view

3. Old Photo Of Separatists Disrespecting Tricolour Revived

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 was viral as recent in the backdrop of the farmers' protests.

BOOM found that the image features Dal Khalsa UK's founder, the late Manmohan Singh Khalsa, who was photographed protesting against the Indian government

Read: Farmers Protest: Old Images Of Sikhs Disrespecting Tricolour Resurface

Fake post


4. 2016 Video Of Pro-Khalistan Rally

A four-year-old video of a pro-Khalistan rally by Sikh groups in Amritsar, Punjab was revived with false claims that they are farmers participating in the ongoing protests' happening in Delhi. BOOM found that the viral clip is from May 2016 from a rally orgainised by some Sikh groups at Beas bridge in Amritsar district.

Read: 2016 Video Of Pro-Khalistan Rally Falsely Linked To Farmers' Protests

Fake post

Click here to view

5. Pro-Khalistan Rally Video From 2015

A five-year-old clip from a protest against the desecration of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib held in Baramulla, Jammu And Kashmir where pro-Khalistan and Pakistan slogans were raised was falsely shared as recent from the ongoing farmers' protest

In the 45 seconds clip, protesters can be heard chanting pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan slogans like 'Punjab banega Khalistan' and 'Kashmir banega Pakistan' and holding posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

BOOM found that the viral clip is from October 2015 during when pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at a protest against the desecration of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib in Baramulla, Jammu And Kashmir.

Read: Pro-Khalistan Rally Video From 2015 Falsely Linked To Farmers' Protest

Fake post

Click here to view

6. Old Images Of Sikhs Disrespecting Tricolour Resurface

A collage of three old images of groups disrespecting the Indian national flag had resurfaced in the backdrop of the ongoing farmers' protest with false claims that the demonstrating farmers have been burning the tricolour at the farmers' protests.

BOOM found that the images are from protests which are unrelated to the ongoing farmers' agitation in Delhi.

Read: Farmers Protest: Old Images Of Sikhs Disrespecting Tricolour Resurface

Fake post

7. Clip Of 2019 Pro-Khalistan Rally In US Revived

A 2019 clip from the United States showing Sikh protesters chant pro-Khalistan slogans was revived, falsely linking it to the ongoing farmers' protests. In the viral clip, Sikh protesters can be heard chanting slogans like "Kashmir banega Pakistan, Punjab banega Khalistan, Imran Khan Zindabad"

BOOM found that the viral video is from 2019 when protesters gathered to demonstrate against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York.

Read: Farmers' Protests: Clip Of 2019 Pro-Khalistan Rally In US Revived

Fake post


Follow BOOM's thread for examples of misinformation shared around the Farmers' Protests


Updated On: 2020-12-14T11:10:28+05:30
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