Several Facebook users have posted a video of policemen apprehending a man and removing his Sikh turban. This video is shared with the text, “Nazir Mohammed an SDPI worker, dressed as a Sardarji in farmers strike in Hariyaana is arrested this morning,” against the backdrop of protests led by farmers from Punjab.

Facebook user Naresh Shenoy posted this video on November 30.


Nazir Mohammed an SDPI worker, dressed as a Sardarji in farmers strike in Hariyaana is arrested this morning.

Posted by Naresh Shenoy on Monday, 30 November 2020

Editor in chief of Kannada daily Vishwani News, Vishweshwar Bhat, also tweeted the video but later took it down. (Archive link)

BJP supporter Renuka Jain, who is followed by Prime Minister Modi, took down her tweet promoting similar misinformation.

Several Facebook users have posted the viral video.

The video was also shared on Twitter with the claim that the man is from the Popular Front of India (PFI).

Nearly a decade old unrelated clip

Last year, the same video was shared with the claim that the man was a Muslim impersonating as a member of the Sikh community. Alt News debunked the clip in December and found that reported that the incident took place on March 28, 2011, near PCA Stadium, Mohali, Punjab.

The report said, “A Sikh youth, participating in a peaceful sit-in staged by retrenched rural veterinary pharmacists and employees, was pulled aside by police officials and his Turban was forcibly removed without cause.”

Non-profit organisation United Sikhs filed a criminal complaint before the Mohali Judicial Magistrate against Punjab police for removing a Sikh youth’s turban. They also wrote letters to the then Prime Minister, CJI, NHRC, among others.

The last week of March 2011 saw protests by retrenched rural veterinary pharmacists in Mohali to demand regularization of their jobs. The agitation turned violent on March 28 when protestors violated prohibitory orders and gathered near PCA stadium. “Several vehicles were damaged as the police resorted to canecharge, firing teargas shells and using water cannons to disperse the stone-pelting mob,” reported The Indian Express.

The same video of a cop apprehending a Sikh youth and removing his turban was uploaded on YouTube on March 29, 2011.

Thus a 2011 video that was debunked in 2019 was shared again with the claim it shows Nazir Mohammed from Social Democratic Party of India pretending to a Sikh farmer in Haryana during farmers’ protests. This was yet another attempt to delegitimise the movement. Earlier, a Muslim man’s photographs from Facebook were misused to claim he dressed up as a Sikh man to participate in the protests.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.