A photo is being shared on social media claiming it as the picture of civil activist Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa during his fast in support of farmers. Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest over the new farm laws, this post is going viral on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photo of Surat Singh Khalsa on hunger strike in protest of new farm laws passed by the Government of India.
Fact: Photo shared in the post is an old one. This photo was shot during Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike for the release of political Sikh prisoners in 2015. This photo has nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protest. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, a similar photo was found in an article published by ‘Sikh 24’ website on ‘04 May 2017’. In the article, it is mentioned as the photo of civil and political activist Surat Singh Khalsa while on a hunger strike for the release of political Sikh prisoners who have completed terms of their life sentences. Surat Singh Khalsa began this hunger strike on ‘16 January 2015’ in protest of human rights violation in Punjab. Similar images of Surat Singh Khalsa were shared in an article published by Sikh relief news website. More details about Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike can be read here and here.
According to another article published by ‘Sikh 24’ website on ‘29 September 2019’, 1717 days of Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike was forcibly ended by the government. The government announced to release eight Sikh Political prisoners and commute the death sentence of a prisoner to life sentence.
In the wake of recent farmers protest over the new farm laws, Surat Singh Khalsa expressed his support to the farmers through his Facebook page. They can be seen here and here. But, there is no announcement from Surat Singh Khalsa about going on a hunger strike in support of the farmers.
To sum it up, 2015 image of Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike is being falsely linked to the ongoing farmers’ protests.