A video showing a group of men tearing the Indian national flag and desecrating it is being widely shared on social media platforms, claiming that those behind the act are farmers participating in the ongoing protests in the country.
In the viral video, turban clad Sikh men speaking in Punjabi, raising pro-Khalistan slogans can be seen stomping on the Indian tricolour .
The video was shared with captions discrediting the farmers who are protesting against the three controversial farm laws since November 2020.
Arun Pudur, who describes himself as an entrepreneur, tweeted saying, “Yeah this is ‘Farmers Protest’ indeed…”
Pudur’s tweet posted on October 4 has over one lakh views. Similar posts in various Indian languages have been viewed tens of thousands of times on Twitter. Remember that the farmers’ agitation grew in momentum from October 4 after the ghastly incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, where the son of Ajay Mishra, MoS Home, allegedly ran over protesting farmers killing 8 people including 4 farmers.
The members from the ruling BJP have claimed several times that the “Khalistanis and Maoists” are behind the farmer’s protest but the claim has not been substantiated.
Through multiple combinations of keyword searches on Twitter, Newschecker found a tweet by NRI Herald which has posted the viral video with text, “…Khalistani Sikh extremists spotted at New York during PM Modi’s visit tearing off Indian National flag…”
Using this tweet as a clue we searched for ‘Protests during PM Modi’s visit to the USA’ and found an article by Indica News – a California-based online newspaper- which reported on ‘Four protests held outside UN as Modi spoke.’
The article carries a picture in which we can identify two men from the viral video, who tore the national flag.
As per the article, four separate protests were held against PM Modi while he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on September 25 in New York.
One of the groups was “that of about 100 Khalistan supporters waving yellow flags…”
Further, we found an image from the Associated press with the caption “Demonstrators rally in favor of Indian farmers outside the United Nations headquarters during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in New York.“
The two men in the viral video -one wearing a black turban and the other in yellow- are clearly seen in the AP’s image.
The blue barricade seen in the viral video can be spotted in a news report by Punjab News Express which has also covered the demonstrations against PM Modi during his recent US visit.
Protestors tearing the Indian national flag are not Indian farmers as is being claimed in the viral video but Sikh protesters who were protesting in New York outside the UN during PM Modi’s speech.
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