A collage of images and a video is being shared on social media claiming that protesting farmers in Punjab are defacing Hindi signboards on National Highways. Visuals of a Sikh man painting black colour on the Hindi language signboard can be seen in the video. Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new farm laws, this post is going viral on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Protesting farmers in Punjab blacken the Hindi language signboards on National Highways.
Fact: Photos shared in the post are related to the Sikh activists’ rally conducted in Punjab during October 2017, demanding precedence for Punjabi language on the signboards. Sikh activists conducted this massive rally along Bathinda-Faridkot National Highway. These images and video shared in the post have nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protests. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of the photos shared in the post, similar visuals were found in an article published by ‘India TV’ news website on 25 October 2017. In the article, it is reported that a group of Sikh activists blackened the Hindi and English signboards along the National Highways in Punjab during 2017. Demanding precedence for Punjabi language on the signboards, a group of Sikh activists reportedly took out this massive rally to blacken the Hindi and English signboards along Bathinda-Faridkot National Highway. Activists from Dal Khalsa, SAD (Amritsar), BKU (Krantikari) and other organizations participated in this rally to smudge the signboards written in Hindi and English. Reporting the same, ‘India TV’ published a video on their YouTube channel.
Similar images were found in the articles published by ‘Khalsa Force’ website on 10 October 2017 and 21 October 2017. They can be seen here and here. A complete video of this rally is shared in ‘Khalsa Force’ YouTube channel. Reporting this rally organized by the Sikh activists, few other news websites published articles in 2017. They can be seen here and here. From all these pieces of evidence, we can conclude that the images shared in the post are related to the 2017 rally conducted by the Sikh activists.
On reverse image search of the screenshots shared in the video, similar visuals were found in a YouTube video posted on 22 February 2019. Though we couldn’t find where this video is from, it can be confirmed that this video is on the internet much before the Indian government passed the new agriculture ordinances.
To sum it up, 2017 visuals of Sikh activists defacing Hindi signboards is falsely linked to the ongoing farmers’ protests.