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Not ‘pro-Khalistan protest in Punjab after AAP win’, viral video is from after Deep Sidhu’s death

Many on social media platforms have claimed Khalistan separatists are carrying out rallies and have renewed their demand for a sovereign state for the Sikhs.

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New Delhi: A video showing a crowd shouting ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ has gone viral on social media platforms with the claim that the incident took place after Aam Aadmi Party’s win in the Punjab assembly elections.

The clip has been shared on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms with captions suggesting that Khalistan separatists have been carrying out rallies and had renewed their demand for a sovereign state for the Sikhs.

Sunil Mittal, BJP district head of North West Delhi, also shared the video Saturday and claimed that “changes have begun” in Punjab after AAP government’s takeover. Mittal is followed by BJP leaders Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga and Kapil Mishra, among others.

The official Facebook account of Dr Mamraj Pundir, former education minister of Himachal Pradesh, also shared the video with a caption that said the “Khalistani protest” was “a gift from the new AAP government”. The post has been viewed over 2,600 times.

Some users also called CM Kejriwal “Kejruddin” and accused him of being a traitor.

Fact Check

The video was, in fact, uploaded on 22 February, days after the death of actor Deep Sidhu in an accident.

It was found that the clip was uploaded several times between 22 and 24 February with the claim that the protest took place in Punjab’s Bathinda after Sidhu’s death on 15 February.

Several users who had shared the clip earlier accused the late actor of having close ties with Khalistani elements. Many users also pointed out that the protesters were holding Sidhu’s posters along with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was involved in a violent campaign demanding autonomy for a separate Sikh state, in the 1990s.

On examination, however, it was found that the protesters were carrying posters with the actor’s photograph and the words ‘Justice for Sidhu’. However, there was no evidence of an association between the actor and Khalistani separatists.

Also read: Langar truck run by Sikhs offering free meals not from Ukraine, viral image dates back to 2016


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