By: Umme Kulsum
July 10 2023
Old images of an unrelated road accident were shared to show Pannun died in an accident.
Separatist organization Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has been a topic of discussion with speculation that he died in a road accident. Two old and unrelated photographs of accident scenes are circulating online, claiming to be from the Pannun’s accident site.
Pratheesh Viswanath, a self-proclaimed activist from the Hindu Seva Kendra activist shared an image of an accident site showing a truck crashing into a maroon car, with an inset of Pannun’s photograph. The caption read, ”#BreakingNews #Khalistani terror!st & Sikh for Justice chief Gurpatwant Singh #Pannu dies in a road accident in the U.S. He was hiding since the three recent mysterious killings of Khalistani terror!st. Karma !!!!”
The viral image showed an image of a crash between a red SUV and a white semi-truck. The post gathered 47.1k views at the time of writing this story. Archive of the post can be accessed here.
A different picture of the accident scene was also posted on Twitter that showed a damaged black car and a vehicle of the fire brigade standing behind it. The post linked the image to Pannun's alleged accident. The caption on the viral post read, “Sad News For #khalistani One more #KhalistaniTerrorists Pannu Died in car accident on the road 101 USA. Many more terrorists to go...!!.” This post gathered about 13k views. Archive of the post can be accessed here.
However, both images are old and unrelated.
Using reverse image search, Logically Facts found that the photographs were accident sites from two distinct California cities and were taken earlier.
Getty Images confirmed the viral image of the maroon car crash was from 2021. The title of the image on Getty reads, “Investigators look over the scene of a crash between an SUV and a semi-truck full of gravel near Holtville, California on March 2, 2021.”
According to a report by USA Today, California Highway Patrol officials confirmed that the SUV was packed with dozens of passengers that collided with a semi-truck near the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 13 people were reported dead after the collision.
Logically Facts performed a reverse image search on the second image and found the image of the mangled black car at an accident site is from 2022. We found an article by the Press Democrat that carried the same image. The picture was taken after a collision near Healdsburg, California, that killed a woman.
Although there have been rumors of Pannun's death in a road accident, there is no official confirmation or statement about the same. Sukhi Chahal, the founder of Khalsa Today, denied the rumors surrounding Pannun’s death on Twitter. He claimed that the information is fake.
According to a report by the Times of India dated July 07, 2023, the SFJ chief confirmed to the media outlet that he is alive and in New York and also issued a fresh threat to Indian diplomats in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. Speaking on the recent death of separatist Hardeep Nijjar, Pannun told the outlet, “He was my younger brother, and we had an association of more than 20 years. We will avenge his death.”
Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul also shared a message on Twitter saying that Pannun confirmed via a message that he is alive.
Two old pictures from different accidents in separate years were used to link to Pannun's rumored death. Therefore, we mark this claim as false.