English, Fake News

Video of PM Modi’s cutout behind bars in Canada is falsely linked to Delhi CM Kejriwal’s release on interim bail


Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on 21 March 2024, in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. After nearly 50 days in judicial custody, on 10 May 2024, the Supreme Court granted Kejriwal interim bail until 01 June 2024. In this context, a video showing a cutout of Prime Minister Narendra Modi behind bars, with Khalistan flags and several anti-Modi slogans being raised is being widely shared across social media platforms (here, here, & here). The claim accompanying the video suggests that Khalistan supporters organized an anti-Modi rally in Canada following Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s release on interim bail in the Delhi liquor excise policy case. The video was sent to our WhatsApp Tip line (+91 92470 52470) number to check the authenticity of this claim. Through this article, we will fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived versions of similar posts can be found here, here, here and here.

Claim: An anti-Modi rally was held in Canada by Khalistan supporters following Delhi CM Kejriwal’s release on interim bail.

Fact: The viral video shows a float depicting PM Modi behind bars at the Malton Nagar Kirtan rally held in Canada on 05 May 2024, organized by Khalistan supporters. This event occurred days before Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s release from jail, during which people protested against Prime Minister Modi over allegations of India’s involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Upon carefully observing the viral video, we noticed a TikTok account mentioned in it, @mani86137. Taking a cue from this, we conducted further searches and located the original video uploaded on TikTok (archive here) from the account ‘@mani86137’ on 06 May 2024, with the title, “malton nagarakirtan2024 | modi di.” From this, it is clear that the video has been available online since at least 06 May 2024, several days before the Delhi CM’s release on 10 May 2024.

The caption of the TikTok video mentioned the Nagar Kirtan event in Malton, Ontario. Taking a cue from this, we conducted a relevant keyword search to learn more about this event. This search led us to a news report published by ‘The Print’ dated 07 May 2024, which carried visuals similar to the viral video. According to this report, the participants of the Nagar Kirtan were believed to hold PM Modi accountable for Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s death. The report further stated that India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) condemned the incident by accusing Canada of providing a safe space to “criminal and secessionist elements” within its country.

On 07 May 2024, in response to media queries about the float in Malton, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “As you are aware, we have repeatedly raised our strong concerns regarding the violent imagery being used by extremist elements in Canada against our political leadership.” He added that in 2023, a float depicting the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was used in a procession”.(here & here)

Further search led us to a report by ‘Hindustan Times’ dated 08 May 2024, which also carried visuals of the same float. The report noted that the incident took place on 05 May 2024, in Malton. ‘India Today’ reported that the Ontario Gurdwara Committee organized the Nagar Kirtan parade in Malton.

We then searched for the committee’s social media handles and found an Instagram post (archived link) shared on 03 May 2024 that carried an announcement of the parade. According to this post, the Nagar Kirtan was being organized on 05 May 2024 to commemorate the Sikh lives lost during Operation Blue Star by the Indian Army in 1984. The post further stated that the parade would begin from Malton and end in Rexdale. From all these sources, it is clear that the viral video shows the Nagar Kirtan parade held on 05 May 2024 in Malton, Ontario and has nothing to do with Kejriwal’s release on intermin bail.

To sum up, the video of PM Modi’s cutout behind bars in Canada is falsely linked to Delhi CM Kejriwal’s release on interim bail.


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