An image of a gathering showing Sikh men standing holding saffron flags and posters of Aamir Khan's film 'Laal Singh Chaddha' is viral on social media. Netizens claim that the gathering in Punjab shows Sikhs protesting against the screening of Khan's recently released film.
'Laal Singh Chaddha' is directed by Advait Chandan and is a Hindi adaptation of the 1994 oscar-winning 'Forrest Gump'. The movie was released on August 11 and starred Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Naga Chaitanya. However, it has faced calls for a boycott by several right-wing organisations countrywide, branding Khan "anti-Hindu" and referring to his past statement about "not feeling safe in India".
The photo is shared with the hashtag "#BoycottLalSinghChadda" and a Hindi caption that reads, "लाल सिंह चड्ढा का जालंधर में विरोध। लगे आमिर खान मुर्दाबाद के नारे।।" [English translation: Protest against Laal Singh Chaddha in Jalandhar. Slogans of down to Aamir Khan were raised.]
Arun Yadav, Former IT Cell Chief for BJP Haryana, shared the image on Twitter with the same caption on August 12. Later, he also shared the link of an Aaj Tak article on the same thread, which had the viral photo as a featured image and mentioned the protest in Jalandhar against the film. However, the media outlet has now changed the feature image and title of the article.
Sadhvi Prachi, a member of Rashtra Sevika Samiti, shared the picture on Twitter with the same caption on August 12.
The picture has been shared on Twitter and Facebook with several verified accounts with the same hashtag and Hindi caption.
Sikhs protested against screening Aamir Khan's recently released 'Laal Singh Chaddha'.
The Logical Indian fact-check team verified the claim and found it false. Actually, the viral image shows activists of the Sikh Tal-Mel Committee protesting in favour of the movie. They demanded that the film screening not be cancelled after the local wing of the Shiv Sena demanded that screenings be cancelled.
We conducted a keyword search on the internet using focus keywords such as 'Laal Singh Chaddha, Aamir Khan, Jalandhar, Punjab'. We found media reports related to the incident, which confirmed that the group seen in the viral photo were staging a protest in favour of the film.
The Indian Express report on August 12 had a similar photo where two of the protesters from the viral picture can be spotted. In the article titled, 'Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha faces protest in Jalandhar,' the photo was captioned, "Sikhs protest in favour of Laal Singh Chaddha.
The report noted that 'Lal Singh Chaddha' was met with unfavourable demonstrations in Punjab's Jalandhar during its screening at a PVR cineplex when a group led by Shiv Sena assembled outside the movie hall and protested against it, hence bringing a halt to the screening.
The article added that after learning about it, Sikh organisations flocked to the location and raised slogans favouring the movie. They said the film is based on a Sikh man's character and Hindu organisations have no right to stop screening it. On comparing both, the viral and The Indian Express photos, one can spot two same protesters in both of them.
The Tribune article on August 11 reported about the same incident identifying the Sikh protesters as activists from Sikh Tal-Mel Committee who reached the MBD mall in Jalandhar to counter the Shiv Sena demonstrations.
The report used the same viral photo and noted that the Shiv Sena activists demanded that Aamir Khan's film be taken out as he had allegedly insulted Hindu gods and goddesses in his last movie, 'PK'.
Further, we also found a video report by The Tribune where reporter Avneet Kaur spoke to the Sikhs protesting in favour of the film. In the report, the two protesters who are also there in the viral photo can also be spotted.
Therefore, the viral picture of the group of Sikh men holding 'Laal Singh Chaddha' posters is from a protest in favour of screening the film at a cinema hall in Jalandhar, Punjab after Shiv Sena activists opposed it. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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