The farmers’ agitation in New Delhi hit a new low on Tuesday when some protesters stormed the Red Fort and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, a symbol of Sikh spirituality, at one of the empty poles.
However, the sight of the Nishan Sahib at the Red Fort sent netizens into a tizzy. While some correctly identified it as the Sikh religious flag, others described it as a Khalistani flag and some even described it as a ‘black day’ for the country.
A few others claimed the national flag was taken off and farmers hoisted their flag in place of the Tricolour.
In fact, all video footages from the Red Fort showed a person climbing an empty pole and hoisting a flag. Though it is clear that no Khalistani flag has been hoisted at the Red Fort, there is no clarity whether Khalistani flags were waved from the ground.
There were several flags carried by different organisations participating in the January 26 protests. This has resulted in social media being filled with claims and counter-claims.
Meanwhile, it is learned that intelligence agencies and Delhi Police have started a probe into the flag-related incidents at the Red Fort on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) had announced a reward of US dollar 2.5 lakh to those who would hoist a Khalistani flag on Red Fort on Republic Day.
Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, who was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week in connection with the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) case, was among the group of farmers who entered the Red Fort on Tuesday and hoisted flags in the 17th century monument.
What is Nishan Sahib?
Nishan Sahib is a light yellow-coloured flag hoisted on every gurudwara, except those of Nanaksarias. It was introduced by Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru who militarised the community in the early 17th century and fought his first battle with Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. That version of the Nishan Sahib was without Khanda, the emblem. Later, the ‘Khanda’ symbol was introduced during Guru Gobind Singh’s time. The ‘Khanda’ emblem comprises a double-edged sword, chakra and two single-edged swords.
The colour of Nishan Sahib can also be saffron or blue.
What is Khalistani flag?
The Khalistan movement is a Sikh separatist movement that began in the 1970s. Khalistan flags used by its supporters usually have ‘Khalistan’ printed on them. It can come with or without the image of ‘Khanda’ and in various colours yellow, saffron or blue.