False: Over 12 Sikh Soldiers face court martial for raising 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans during Rajnath Singh's 2020 visit to the LoC.

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 3 2023

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False: Over 12 Sikh Soldiers face court martial for raising 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans during Rajnath Singh's 2020 visit to the LoC.


The Verdict False

An unrelated audio clip was played over a video from Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the LoC in 2020.

Claim ID 0f70448e

Note: Due to a technical error, the date of publication of this article has been misstated. This article was published on January 3, 2023.


A few days after the Indo-China face-off in Tawang, a video went viral on social media claiming over 12 Sikh Soldiers are facing court martial for raising 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans during Rajnath Singh's Line of Control (LoC) visit in 2020. On July 18, 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited a key forward post along the LoC in the Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. The viral video shows Rajnath Singh raising his hand along with soldiers at the post, several of whom are turban-wearing Sikhs. After a cheer, the audio suddenly jumps to shouts of 'Khalistan Zindabad', while panning to the Sikh soldiers. Social media users claimed that the soldiers seen in the video are being court-martialed for this. However, the claim is false and the video has been deliberately edited.

In Fact

A reverse image search revealed that the viral video has been morphed, with heavy pixelation to obscure the faces of the soldiers and a replacement of the actual audio.

The Tribune reported on Singh's visit to the forward post on July 18, 2020, and expressly noted that "the soldiers of the Khalsa paltan at the LoC raised their battle cry “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal”." The Tribune article also includes the genuine video footage used in the viral video – the audio of which makes it clear that no such slogans were raised.

The Tribune noted that the video had been posted on Twitter by Rajnath Singh himself, and we found the tweet from July 18, 2020 where the defence minister had shared it with the caption 'Jo bole so nihal...' in Devanagri script.

In the video, the soldiers can be seen and heard shouting, 'Bole so nihal...sat sri akal (whoever takes the name of the lord shall be in peace, god is the only truth)' and 'Waheguru ji ka khalsa…Waheguru ji ki fateh (Whatever the lord has made is pure and one who imbibes that purity shall emerge victorious)’. This is then followed by slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki jai (victory of mother India)'.

The Hindustan Times also published a video of Rajnath Singh’s visit on their YouTube channel on July 18, 2020. Recorded by news agency ANI, the video shows the same sloganeering as the video posted by Singh, albeit from a slightly different angle. The audio includes no pro-Khalistan slogans.

Several other news organisations also reported on Singh's visit, including the Indian Express. None of them reported any such sloganeering during the visit.

It is therefore clear that in the clip being shared on social media, the actual audio of the soldiers making the 'Bole so nihal' chant and shouting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' has been edited out and replaced to make it seem like the soldiers are shouting 'Khalistan Zindabad.' 

Setting aside the video, the claim that the soldiers are being court-martialed also has no basis; the Indian Army has issued no such order. There are no news reports on 12 Indian Army men being court-martialed for raising any such slogans in favor of Khalistan. 

The Verdict

The video of soldiers raising 'Bharat Mata ki jai' slogans during Rajnath Singh's 2020 LoC visit has been edited to falsely claim they raised pro-Khalistan slogans. 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogans were never raised during this visit, and no soldier has been court-martialed. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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