Canadian-Pakistani author Tarek Fatah posted a video of Sikh men chanting pro-Pakistan and pro-Khalistan slogans and wrote, “Sikhs in London chant Allah-O-Akbar. Kashmir banega Pakistan, Punjab banega Khalistan.” The video gained 50,000 views since it was posted on December 11 (archived link). In the past, Alt News has documented multiple accounts of misinformation by Fatah.
#Sikhs in London chant:
Jihadi Khalistanis coming soon to
a neighbourhood near you, courtesy Pakistan’s ISI. pic.twitter.com/IbM6H24khd
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) December 11, 2020
Two days prior to Fatah’s tweet, the video was posted by Pakistan-based news outlet Siasat however, with the claim that the sloganeering took place in the US. The tweet gained over 1,000 retweets. (archived link)
— Siasat.pk (@siasatpk) December 8, 2020
Since then several Indian users have shared this video linking it with the ongoing farmers’ protest. Twitter account @MrSinha_, who is followed by prime minister Narendra Modi’s personal account, posted the clip. Sinha’s tweet was retweeted over 500 times. (archived link)
लंदन में अल्लाह हु अकबर-पाकिस्तान ज़िंदाबाद के नारे लगाने वाले किसान समर्थक सिख…
ना भाई कोई इनको ख़ालीस्तानी मत कहना,अन्नदाता हैं ये 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) December 11, 2020
देश द्रोही मत कहिये देश के असली अन्नदाता है!
देश द्रोही यों ने किसान आंदोलन को पूरा हाईजैक कर लिया है सभी राजनीतिक दलों ने मिलकर? pic.twitter.com/QjxNzDBlVW
— Om Prakash Rawat (@OmPraka43229608) December 11, 2020
OpIndia Hindi published an article (archived link) on the video. Even as the outlet said the video was shot in London, the article read, “Alleged farmers’ protest against new farm laws has been accused of Khalistani links. (नए कृषि कानून के विरोध में चल रहे कथित किसान आन्दोलन पर खालिस्तानी सम्बन्धों का भी आरोप लगता आया है।)”
— ऑपइंडिया (@OpIndia_in) December 11, 2020
Over the last few weeks, Alt News has documented multiple instances of pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan videos being falsely linked with the ongoing farmers’ protest.
Using a reverse image search on Yandex, we found that the video is at least one-year-old. Several users uploaded it in November 2019 including Twitter user @EngrMianAyub, Facebook Page Pagal News and Facebook user Muhammad Asim Khas.
After kashmir Baney ga Pakistan now Punjab Baney ga #Khalistan. 😊
This is the tremendous success of #ImranKhan and #Pakistan by winning the hearts of #SikhCommunity. 🇵🇰#IndiaAgainstKartarpur pic.twitter.com/jPN3Fp73tK
— Engr Mian Ayub (@EngrMianAyub) November 7, 2019
Pakistan-based media professional Maleeha Hashmey had posted the viral video on November 7, 2019. She wrote, “Pakistan WINS Sikh brothers’ hearts through #Kartarpur & Indian Punjab chants.”
Pakistan WINS Sikh brothers’ hearts through #Kartarpur & Indian Punjab chants;
— Maleeha Hashmey (@MaleehaHashmey) November 7, 2019
Where is the video from?
We noticed that one of the placards held by the protestors has ‘New York’ (21-second mark) written on it while another has the flag of the US (23-second mark).
The same banner is also spotted in a photograph uploaded on Getty Images in September 2019. As per its caption, “Thousands of people protest Indian Prime Minister Narendra Mod’s speech during 74th UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters.”
The placard with PM Modi’s name superimposed on the flag of the US is also seen in other visuals of the rally.
According to a report in Al Jazeera from September 29, 2019, thousands of protesters rallied for human rights in Kashmir as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). As per Deccan Herald, the protest was organised by Coalition Against Fascism in India.
We also found videos of similar protests in New York (1, 2 and 3). Twitter user @WaraichHaider had posted a video on September 27, 2019, saying, “Massive Crowd outside United Nations, #Kashmir was indeed raised in NewYork. 10 to12 thousand people.” Readers should note that derogatory language was used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Massive Crowd outside United Nations, #Kashmir was indeed raised in NewYork. 10 to12 thousand people. @MysticIntel @SdqJaan @kmaliikk #UNGA2019 #ImranKhanVoiceOfKashmir #ImranKhan @PTIofficial @ImranKhanPTI @Natsecjeff @XULQIMOON @5hoab @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL @KlasraRauf @AmirMateen2 pic.twitter.com/rU7ZFrpL7f
— Haider Warraich (@WaraichHaider) September 27, 2019
We compared the viral video with the above video and found visual similarities including the t-shirts adorned by the protestors which has the logo “New York City Protest At The UN” inscribed.
Thus, a video of an anti-Modi rally held in New York was revived to build a narrative against Sikh farmers leading protests against the centre’s farm laws. Moreover, members of various faiths and ethnic groups had taken part in the protest.