Fact-Check: Was Khalistan Flag Hoisted At Delhi’s Red Fort?

Indian farmers’ tractor rally against Narendra Modi governemnt’s farmer bills, that was to take place after parade of Indian Republic Day had concluded, started early. The protestors became victim of police’s lathicharge and tear gas shells. Some groups from the rally veered off and ventured towards Red Fort of India and hoisted their flags there.

This moment however, was misinterpreted by much of Indian media and fake news started circulating that the farmers had taken down India’s National Flag and hoisted up the flag of Khalistan. Some accounts on Pakistan Twitter space also claimed that Khalistan’s flag was hoisted by the protestors.

The Khalistan movement is a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs by establishing a sovereign state, called Khālistān (‘Land of the Khalsa’), in the Punjab region.

However, news of the “Khalistan Flag” being hoisted on Red Fort Dome that is viral on social media is fake. Among those who amplified the claim were BJP Delhi spokesperson Harish Khurana, parliamentary secretary of Varun Gandhi, Ishita Yadav, and BJP supporters Divya Kumar Soti, Vikrant Kumar, Sumit Kadel, Sumit Kadel, Sumeet Thakkar, Anurag Dixit and Shefali Vaidya.

Investigation into the claim revealed that neither was India’s National flag taken down and nor was Khalistan flag present there at the Red Fort. The farmers had hoisted up Nishan Sahib or Sikh religious flags.