Hyderabad: Indians paid tribute to revolutionary heroes Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru on their 90th death anniversary on 23 March. They were martyred on 23 March 1931 by the British government in Lahore Central jail, Pakistan.
Amidst this, a black and white photo of a funeral attended by thousands of people has gone viral on social media with the claim that it shows the funeral of the martyred heroes in 1931.
This image surfaces every year with the same claim on various social media platforms.
The claim that the image shows the cremation of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru is FALSE.
NewsMeter performed a reverse image search on Yandex and found a Hindi blog post on Navbharattimes.indiatimes.com published in April 2017. It said the image has been shared with false claims that it shows the last rites of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru. The truth is that the photo has nothing to do with the martyrs. On 13 April 1978, there was a violent clash between Nirankars and Akali workers in Amritsar in which 13 Akali workers died. There was a huge crowd at his funeral and the photos were taken there.
The blog also said more publications with the same image can be found by searching using keywords "Amritsar massacre 1978". We searched using the keywords and found that the viral image indeed shows the cremation of Akali gurus.
According to TribuneIndia.com, though Nirankaris' conflict with the Hindus can be traced to the early 1850s, they by and large remained at peace with the Sikhs for almost a century.
The turning point in the Sikh-Nirankari relationship is believed to have come after Avtar Singh took over as the sect chief in 1943. He not only proclaimed himself "Satguru" but also introduced a book "Avtar Bani" and allegedly tried to copy Sikh symbols like starting the system of Sat Piare etc. He was successful in organizing Nirankaris into a powerful sect. However, in his book "A History of The Sikhs", Khushwant Singh noted that the fundamental difference between both was that the Nirankaris were worshiping gurus other than the 10 recognized by the Sikhs.
However, the conflict reached its peak on 13 April 1978 when activists of the Akhand Kirtni Jatha and Damdai Taksal marched towards the venue of a Nirankari convention in Amritsar. It led to a clash that left at least 17 dead and a majority of them were Sikhs.
The website Discoversikhism.com has all the images related to the massacre along with the viral image. The viral image has also been shared on various other articles relating to the 1978 Amritsar massacre.
Hence, the image relating to the 1978 Amritsar massacre is being falsely shared as showing the last rites of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru. The claim is FALSE.