Hyderabad: Amid the ongoing protest by farmers against the Centre's new farm laws, an image of Sikh protesters stepping on the national flag has gone viral on social media with a false claim that protests have been 'hijacked' by anti-India elements.
The claim read, "What animosity do these so called protesters have with India's national flag? I am reiterating it again: These are not farmers. This is Shaheen Bagh 2.0 and should be crushed using force."
NewsMeter found that this claim is false as the image has been available on the internet since 2013.
We ran a reverse image search and found the same image on a blog post from December 2013 with the title 'Khalistan Youth'.
We then searched online with the keywords 'Khalistani Youth stepping on Indian Flag 2013' and found a YouTube video from 19 August 2013 with the title 'Fremont, CA Sikhs protesting against 15 Aug parade' that carried the same visuals. (See 5:54 minutes)
Although we couldn't independently verify the location of the event, it should be noted that as the video has been on the internet since 2013 — much before the ongoing farmers' protest started - the claim is false.
Hence, the claim that this image is linked to the ongoing farmers' protest is not true.