No, Sikh man injured during farmers’ protest is not Captain PPS Dhillon (Retd.)

Amidst the recent farmers’ protest, Alt News has verified multiple claims where unrelated individuals were linked to the movement — Bilkis Bano and Dr Rajkumari Bansal — in…

Amidst the recent farmers’ protest, Alt News has verified multiple claims where unrelated individuals were linked to the movement — Bilkis Bano and Dr Rajkumari Bansal — in an attempt to delegitimise the protest.

Several Facebook and Twitter users have now posted a juxtaposed image of a Sikh man in military uniform and an elderly man whose eye is injured. If social media claims are to be believed, both men are the same person. “Captain PPS Dhillon from Sikh Regiment, Indian Army was thrashed after he raised his voice for farmers’ rights,” reads the viral message in an attempt to draw sympathies for the farmers’ protest, unlike most other misinformation.

Indian Youth Congress member Aakash Mahant (archived link) and Facebook page ‘Vinay Dubey fan club’ (archived link) promoted the claim. Their posts were shared close to 2,000 times.

भारतीय सेना की सिख रेजिमेंट से रिटायर कैप्टन #PPSDhillon ने कभी सोचा नहीं होगा कि जब वो किसान की भूमिका में अपने हक़ के…

Posted by Aakash Mahant on Monday, 30 November 2020

भारतीय सेना की सिख रेजिमेंट से रिटायर कैप्टन #PPSDhillon ने कभी सोचा नहीं होगा कि जब वो किसान की भूमिका में अपने हक़ के…

Posted by Vinay Dubey fan club on Monday, 30 November 2020

It was also posted MP Congress IT cell member Shilpi Singh. Her tweet gained over 200 retweets. (archived link)

Fact-check

Alt News rummaged Twitter and Facebook for context behind the two images and found that the two Sikh men are not the same person.

Veteran’s image

A veteran tipped us off on WhatsApp that this image was posted on Facebook by Captain PPS Dhillon (Retd.)’s son.

Sukhwinder Singh Sarpanch Uboke had shared the photograph on Sikh Military History Forum on November 29. As per his post, the officer in the image is his father Hon. Captain Pirthipal Singh Dhillon, who retired from 17 Sikh Regiment in 1993.

Uboke also posted another image of the cake cutting on his personal profile.

Today is my father’s birthday
Hon. Captain pirthipal Singh Dhillon
Retired in 1993 , 17 sikh regiment
He is the part…

Posted by Sukhwinder Singh Sarpanch Uboke on Sunday, 29 November 2020

The images were posted on the same day the veteran was claimed to have sustained injuries during farmers’ protests. This itself suggests that the viral assertion is false.

Farmer’s image

Farmers’ rights activist Ramandeep Singh Mann tweeted this image on November 29. Mann told Alt News, “I haven’t been able to identify the farmer yet. Will update the moment I learn more details.”

Twitter user @AMITKUM930 posted a short video of the farmer.

While the identity of the farmer is yet to be ascertained, he is certainly not Captain PPS Dhillon (Retd.). Their facial structure and beard do not match.

It is noteworthy that the pictures began circulating with the false claim after journalist Tejinder Singh Sodhi had tweeted them. Sodhi, however, did not allege that the two individuals are the same. He clarified that his post only meant to bring attention to the differential treatment meted out to Sikhs as army men and as farmers.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.


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