A photograph of a group of women seated onstage in front of a Punjabi banner has been shared with the text, “Women power on the Kisan stage – When did the spirited women of Punjab start wearing burqas?” The image has been shared to allude a ‘Muslim angle’ to the ongoing farmers’ protests. Twitter user ‘Tinku’ posted the image writing, “These are the ones who will not show their documents.” Hashtags like #Khalistan and #Khalistani were used in the post. (Archive link)

Another Twitter user, @ThePushpendra_, tweeted this picture and wrote, “What are these Muslim women doing at the farmers’ protests? What kind of farming do they do?” (Archive link)

A website called India Viral shared the picture in one of its articles, claiming that the farmers’ movement has been taken over by ‘Islamists’ and others who follow the faith. It also questions whether those wearing the burqas are actually women. The article makes every effort to discredit the movement. (Archive link)

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Several other users have shared the photo across Twitter and Facebook.

Fact-check

Alt News performed a keyword search on Facebook which led us to a post by a page called ‘Indias Muslims’ dated January 14. According to the post, the Muslim community had participated in demonstrations at the Tikri border. The same stage seen in the viral photo appears in the pictures accompanying this post.

“Muslim Community Arrived at Tikkri Border to Participate in Protest. We are United.”

#FarmersDemandJustice
#FarmersProstests

Via Bharatiya Kisan Union Ughran

Posted by Indias Muslims on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Furthermore, we also found some images resembling the photo in question on the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Facebook page. Here, people from the Muslim community are seen reading prayers and addressing the crowd.

Posted by Bharti Kisan Union Ekta Ugrahan / ਭਾਰਤੀ ਕਿਸਾਨ ਯੂਨੀਅਨ ਏਕਤਾ ਉਗਰਾਹਾਂ on Thursday, January 14, 2021

The BKU shared these images on its Twitter handle as well. The accompanying tweet reads, “Muslim women from Punjab’s Malerkotla participated in the ongoing demonstrations at the Tikri border”. They have also been uploaded on BKU’s Instagram page.

A January 13 report in The Times of India quoted Dr. Nasir Akhtar of Malerkotla, who said that 30 people from Malerkotla were in attendance. They were all from the Muslim community. He has been running a langar service at the Singhu border for the last 40 days. Dr. Akhtar and his colleagues have also installed waterproof tents so that farmers can sleep comfortably in the cold. Apart from this, they have arranged 100 mattresses and sheets. Shaheed Tantray, the assistant photo editor at The Caravan, tweeted a picture of Muslim attendees offering prayers at the Tikri border.

Journalist Saahil Murli Menghani tweeted a video of the Tikri border on January 15. His tweet stated that women of different faiths had gathered there in support of the farmers’ movement.

Therefore, it is clear that Muslim women had joined demonstrations at the Tikri border in support of the protesting farmers. A photo of this incident was shared on social media with a misleading claim. In fact, there have been several such attempts to suggest that the protests have been hijacked by Muslims.

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