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Videos And Posts On Soldiers Of The Sikh Regiment Refusing To Fight For India Are False

A video on social media platforms alleges that soldiers of the Sikh Regiment in the Indian Army are refusing to fight for the country. 

Shared by the Twitter account #TeamPakistanZindabad (@TeamPZBofficial) on 8 December 2020, the videos’ caption reads, “Big News 21 sikh regiment of the indian army has refused to fight for india. A Sikh soldier vows to fight for Sikh homeland Khalistan. #IndiaShutDown” 

https://twitter.com/TeamPZBofficial/status/1336345215553196034?s=20

With a following of over 7,000 the #TeamPakistanZindabad Twitter account describes itself as “Patriotic-Pakistanis; prepared to sacrifice our lives for beloved motherland. For us, Pakistan & its people are foremost important than our lives even.”

The 1.55-minute video was also uploaded on a Youtube channel called Punjab zinda bad and titled, “21 sikh regiment of the indian army has refused to fight for india. A Sikh soldier vows to fight”. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUfhpXqFJXk

The same day, a Facebook group called Pak Army also shared the video along with the caption beginning “Big News”. 

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=206382250940605&id=109127067332791

The Pak Army Facebook group was created in February 2020 and is managed by people primarily based in Pakistan, as per information on the global social media platform’s Transparency Page.

Fact Check/ Verification 

The video in context is shared amid the ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi against three agricultural laws introduced by the Narendra Modi-led government. In the last two weeks, NewsChecker has debunked numerous misleading and fake posts shared in relation to the protest. Also, this isn’t the first false claim against the Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. 

We first ran a Google reverse image search of keyframes from the video, but found nothing substantial. Next we looked through the Indian army’s official website and website of the Ministry of Defense on any information about soldiers from the Sikh Regiment refusing to fight for India. But we could not find any information that supports the claim. 

We reached out to an Indian Army spokesperson, Colonel Aman Anand, for clarification. Denying the claim’s validity, he said the social media post is “false and malicious” and indicative of propaganda. 

On 22 June 2019, the army’s official Facebook group, ADGPI – Indian Army, debunked another false claim by the same man seen in the initial claim. Their post read, “’Be Cautious – Be Vigilant’ Imposter wearing Indian Army combat uniform in video spreading disinformation. Soldiers of #IndianArmy are committed to uphold the core values of our Constitution and the rich history of Courage, Valour and Sacrifice. We are at it.”

https://www.facebook.com/Indianarmy.adgpi/posts/1074328259430469

During our search we also came across a similar false claim shared in early 2019. A morphed image of a broadcast on Republic TV read “21 Sikh Regiment Refused To Fight For India.” The army’s official Facebook group debunked this claim in March 2019 as well. 

Conclusion

Our research makes it clear that the video and claim which state that soldiers of the Indian army’s Sikh Regiment refused to fight for the country are false. A spokesperson of the army termed it “false and malicious”. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Indian Army website: https://www.indianarmy.nic.in/home

Ministry of Defence, GOI: https://www.mod.gov.in/

Indian Army spokesperson, Colonel Aman Anand

ADGPI – Indian Army: https://www.facebook.com/Indianarmy.adgpi/posts/1074328259430469

The Print: https://theprint.in/hoaxposed/no-21-sikh-regiment-did-not-refuse-to-fight-for-india-and-republic-tv-never-reported-it/202395/

ADGPI – Indian Army: https://www.facebook.com/Indianarmy.adgpi/posts/1006526042877358


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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