In view of the ongoing farmers’ protest at various Delhi borders, social media users have shared a video claiming that an RSS member has been caught distributing Khalistan-related pamphlets to defame the farmers’ protests.
The video shows an interviewer allegedly from On Air, a digital channel asking questions to a man who explains how well he is being treated by the farmers despite sharing information he learnt during his one year training with the RSS. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation.
You can view similar claims shared by other Twitter users here.
It’s been widely shared on Facebook as well.
Farmers have been protesting at various borders in Delhi for more than a month against the new agricultural laws introduced by the central government. On Wednesday, both parties (farmers and the central government) met again for the sixth round of talks, but no consensus has been reached about the three new farm laws and Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Fact Check/ Verification
We first ran a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes on InVid, a video verification app. But could not find any relevant information about the claim in context.
Next taking the ‘On Air’ logo cue from the video, we did a relevant keyword search on Google and found that the interviewer in the video is Simranjot Singh Makkar, editor of the digital channel On Air.
We reached out to Makkar who explained that the video is from Delhi’s Singhu border and the person interviewing in the video is him. He added that the arrested man admitted he had been paid by the RSS and was distributing leaflets in support of the new farm laws. Though these pamphlets/ leaflets were not related to Khalistan in any way.
Makkar has uploaded the full video of the interview on On Air’s Facebook page.
The video includes an image of the leaflets that were distributed. It also shows the local police escorting the RSS person out.
Newschecker has previously debunked a variety of misleading and false claims related to the ongoing farmers’ protest.
This claim has been debunked in our Punjabi fact-check as well.
Our research as well as conversation with the On Air’s editor, Simranjot Singh Makkar, makes it clear that the RSS person in the video was arrested for distributing leaflets against the farmers’ protest at Delhi’s Singhu border. But the leaflets had nothing to do with Khalistan.
Simranjot Singh Makkar, Editor of On Air: https://soundcloud.com/shaminder-singh-mahi/conversation-with-simranjot
Simranjot Singh Makkar’s On Air interview: https://fb.watch/2JoMaZ0a7a/
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