This video has circulated in media reports about Sikh protesters at a rally in north India in 2016

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on January 8, 2020 at 05:50
  • 3 min read
  • By AFP India
A video has been viewed thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows Sikh protesters at a rally against India’s proposed nationwide citizenship register in 2019. The claim is false; the video has circulated in media reports about Sikh protesters taking to the streets in May 2016 to demonstrate against a Hindu nationalist party in northern India.

The video was shared in this Facebook published on December 25, 2019. It has been viewed more than 2,900 times.

In the clip, a large group of men wearing Dastars, a style of turban worn by some Sikhs, can be heard chanting slogans as they march across a bridge wielding swords and sticks. 

Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post

The post’s Hindi-language caption translates to English as: "No policemen seen during a protest rally against NRC in Punjab today."

NRC is an acronym for the National Register of Citizens, a government-kept record of all Indian citizens, implemented in India’s northeastern state of Assam. The register was criticised after almost two million people were found to have been omitted in its August 2019 release, effectively stripping the state's large minority of Muslims of citizenship, as reported by AFP here on September 2, 2019.

The video was also shared in posts here, here, here and here on Facebook, and here, here and here on Twitter with a similar claim.

The claim is false; the video has circulated online since at least May 2016 in reports about a protest unrelated to the NRC.

The reports stated the protest was called by Sikh organisations in response to a Hindu nationalist party's proposals for a public gathering in the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

A Google reverse image search of keyframes extracted from the video using digital verification tool InVID found the same clip published here on YouTube on May 25, 2016.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us