Amidst protests led by farmers from Punjab against the centre’s new agricultural bill, a photograph of a Sikh man holding his shoe over the Indian national flag, while many others have stepped on it, is being shared on social media. Facebook user Manohar Bhardwaj shared the image along with the Hindi caption, “Arrest these traitors immediately. They are (farmers) insulting the national flag by rebelling against the country in the name of the farmers’ movement”, which was shared over 700 times. (Archive link)

इन जाहिल गद्दारों को तुरंत गिरफ्तार करो । किसान आंदोलन के नाम पर देश से बगावत कर राष्ट्रीय ध्वज का अपमान कर रहे है।

Posted by Manohar Bhardwaj on Saturday, December 5, 2020

The same image was shared by Twitter user @RashmiBhadoriy2. She alluded, “It seems as if foreign terrorists have entered the country under the guise of farmers.” (Archive link)

This image is massively viral on Facebook and Twitter.

2013 image from UK

Alt performed a simple google reverse image search and found the full-size image posted on Twitter in August 2019. We then performed a second reverse image search and came across a blog post on Dal Khalsa from August 17, 2013. According to the blog, “Sikhs, Kashmiris & other minority groups gathered on the 15th of August 2013 in Central London to protest against Indian Oppression & Occupation.” The blog post includes other pictures of the protest, where the same man in a saffron turban can be spotted.

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We also found a tweet of Sikh Sangat news posted on August 20, 2013 which carries a link to a news report of the protest.

Therefore the image of a Sikh man desecrating the Indian national flag during a protest held in London in 2013 has been falsely shared as the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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About the Author

Aqib is monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News