English, Fake News
 

Old and unrelated images of Pro-Khalistan protests are falsely linked to the ongoing farmers’ protest

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A post accompanying a set of images that show protesters holding pro-Khalistan and anti-India placards is being widely shared across social media platforms linking them to the ongoing farmers’ protest. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Protesters holding Pro-Khalistan and anti-India placards in farmer’s protest.

Fact: These are old images. Some of them even date back to 2016. These images have nothing to do with the ongoing farmers protest against the news farm laws.  Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

Image 1:

Reverse image search of this photo led us to a 2019 news article which carried the same image. The article reports about a Sikh diaspora group called Sikhs for Justice’s (SFJ) idea to conduct a referendum in November 2020 to achieve Punjab independence from India. The description of the image in the article reads “A demonstration of pro-independence Sikh’s in the North American diaspora in 2018”. Taking a cue from this article Google search with relevant keywords led us to a 2018 news article which reported these protests.

Further search led us to few 2019 & 2020 news articles which carried the same image. All these establish that this image is an old one and has nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Image 2:

Reverse image search of this photo led us to a 2018 news article which carried the same image. In this article, the image was credited to Getty Images.

Taking a cue from the article, a search on Getty images website with relevant keywords yielded us the original image. The description of the image reads “Sikhs stage an anti-war rally to protest conflict between India and Pakistan at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY, USA on October 11, 2016”.

Image 3:

Reverse image search of the photo in the post led us to a news article which carried the same image. The image published in the article is credited to AFP.

Taking a cue from the image credit in the news article, a search for AFP contributed images on stock photography website led us to the same image on Getty Images. According to the description associated with this image on the website, the image was clicked back in 2013 on the 29th anniversary of ‘Operation Blue star’ at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This establishes that the image is an old one and has nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Image 4:

Google search with relevant keywords led us to a 29 November 2020 news article which reported the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new farm laws. This article carried the same image.

As far as the news that SFJ (Sikhs For Justice), a banned pro-Khalistan organization’s offer to the farmers is considered, we found out that the organization has indeed offered to pay one million dollars to those farmers who had defaulted to pay loans. However, the farm bodies rejected SFJ’s offer for financial aid.

In the wake of the ongoing protests by farmers over the farm bills, posts like these are being widely shared on social media platforms with misleading claims.

To sum it up, old and unrelated images from Pro-Khalistan protests are falsely being attributed to the ongoing farmers’ protests.

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