A photo of a Sikh ex Army officer is being shared with a photo of an injured protester from the ongoing farmers' march with the false claim that they are the same, to show that even a former Army officer was beaten by the police.
The first photo shows another elderly Sikh man in full uniform of the Indian Army's Sikh regiment, with a cake bearing his name -- Captain P.P.S Dhillon, and the second photo shows an elderly Sikh protester with an injured eye.
BOOM spoke to Dhillon's son Sukhwinder Singh, who confirmed that the elderly injured man in the second photo is not his father and stated that he is at home in Patti, Punjab and not at the ongoing farmers' protests.
The photos with the false claim are being shared in a bid to spread fake news about the ongoing farmers' protest which has seen farmers from Punjab and Haryana marching towards Delhi. On November 27, 2020, violent clashes were reported between protesters and police and para-military forces at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana. Thousands of farmers from across Haryana and Punjab have marched with some still on their way towards the national capital to protest against the government's new farm laws. The protest entered its seventh day on December 2, 2020.
The photos are being shared with a caption that reads, "These photos are of same person . When he was army officer they salute him . When he become farmer they break his eye with chain. What a shame Indian government. #farmersprotest"
(Translation: Both pictures are of the same person. The protector of the border and after retirement, the one who is going to be a farmer with the farmers for their rights. This is PPS Dhillon Saheb. This is Khalistani for IT Cell people)
(In Hindi - दोनों तस्वीरें एक ही इंसान की हैं. सीमा के रक्षक की भी और रिटायर होने के बाद किसानों के साथ किसान होकर हक़ के लिए सड़क पर उतरने वाले की भी । पी पी एस ढिल्लों साहेब हैं ये। ITCell वालों के लिए ये खालिस्तानी हैं।)
Viral on Facebook
On searching with the same caption on Facebook, we found that the set of photos was viral with the false claim.
BOOM found that the two men in the photos are not the same. We identified the Army officer in the photo as Captain PPS Dhillon and the photo to be from November 29, posted by his son, to celebrate his father's birthday.
Since the cake had 'Captain P.P.S Dhillon' written on it, we ran a search for the same keyword on Facebook and found a post from November 29, 2020, where the same photo was posted on a Facebook page, Sikh Military History Forum. The photo was posted by an account named Sukhwinder Singh Sarpanch Uboke, stating that it is his father Captain Pirthipal Singh Dhillon celebrating his birthday who retired in 1993 from the 17 Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army.
BOOM reached out to Singh who confirmed that the elderly injured man in the second photo is not his father. "This is fake, that is not my father in that first image as being claimed. On his birthday on November 29, 2020, I had posted a photo of him with the cake on Facebook which has been misused. He is at home in Patii, Punjab, and has not gone to Delhi for the farmers' protests."
We found another similar photo posted by Singh on his Facebook timeline, where we can see him with his father, the same man as in the viral photo. This photo was captioned, "Today is my father's birthday Hon. Captain pirthipal Singh Dhillon Retired in 1993, 17th Sikh regiment He is the part of the soldiers who fought the battles of 1965 ,1971 and Operation Srilanka. God bless you dad"
We also found comments by Singh dismissing that the injured elderly man in the viral photo is his father and further explaining that his father is at home and not at the ongoing farmers' protests.
The first photo of the injured elderly man injured has been circulating on social media since November 29, 2020.
A clip of the same elderly man was tweeted by another individual on November 29, 2020, where we can see him talking.
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