Many social media users are sharing a black and white photo of a crowd gathered around a pyre. The image is being shared with the claim that the image shows the last rites of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The image is being shared with the caption, which translates in English as, "This picture is of the funeral of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. if possible, try to share it with every Indian."
The image is viral on Facebook.
Many Twitter users are also sharing the image.
The viral image is of the last rituals of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
The Logical Indian did a keyword search for Bhagat Singh's last rites and found an article published by Economic Times on March 29, 2018. According to the article, Bhagat Singh was hanged on March 23, 1931, in Lahore after being tried under charges for plotting conspiracy against the British government and killing British police officer John P Saunders. The article says that their body was cremated, and ashes were thrown in the River Sutlej the same day in extreme secrecy to avoid any public reaction. The same fate was met by his two other comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev, who were also hanged along with Bhagat Singh in the same case. People came to know about their deaths two days later through Maulana Zafar Ali Khan's Zamindar newspaper.
An article published by The Print on Bhagat Singh's death anniversary, March 23, 2021, described the event of his death. An excerpt from the article described the last rites of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev after they were hanged. According to the article, "Afterwards, their bodies were hurriedly taken down from the gallows. They were dragged along the dirty passageway, chopped into pieces and stuffed into sacks, which were then whisked out of the jail compound surreptitiously. Outside the jail, the remains were unceremoniously stacked on a truck. The truck made haste, speeding northwards from Lahore to Kasur, some two hours' drive away. There, on the banks of the River Sutlej, two holy men awaited. The harried men, dressed in full priestly garb, clutched their prayer books for solace. One was Sikh, and the other Hindu. The priests read out the final prayers over the dismembered bodies, which were quickly loaded onto a funeral pyre to burn fiercely in the eerie silence of the night. Before the pyre had fully burnt out, and as dawn threatened to break over the silent waters of the Sutlej, the roaring fires were hastily put out. The charred remains were then hurled into the river. The precise spot was to be later identified as Post No. 201. Once the priests and the policemen had departed, villagers who had been looking on with suspicion went into the water. They retrieved the body parts and set about cremating them properly. Having always been of the people, it was the people who gave Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru the dignity in death they already had in life."
We also searched and found no media reports confirming that the last rites of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru or Sukhdev were done publicly.
What about the viral image?
The Logical Indian did a reverse image search and found it was published on a website, Panthic.org. According to the article, the image is of April 13, 1978, Baisakhi, when clashes broke out between the traditional Sikhs and Nirankaris. The caption of the image described that the image showed the pyre of '13 martyrs of Vaisakhi 1978.'
The image is also published on Page 71 of the book 'Kurbani', compiled by the sect Akhand Kirtani Jatha, a sect dedicated to the Sikh lifestyle and follows strict discipline in keeping the Rehat of Guru Gobind Singh Jee. The book also mentioned that the image was of 13 April 1978 when a fight erupted between the Akhand Kirtani Jatha Sikhs and Nirankaris during the yearly Baisakhi celebrations in Amritsar, killing 13 Akhand Kirtani Jatha Sikhs and 3 Nirankaris.
Screenshot of the image from the book, 'Kurbani'
Hence, an image from 1978 has gone viral with the claim that it is of the last rites of Bhagat Singh.
If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp at 6364000343.
Also Read: Fact Check: Images Of Women Shared Claiming They Were Bangladeshi Freedom Fighters Who Converted To Islam