A series of photos of former cabinet minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Bikram Singh Majithia have gone viral after the images were shared by the official page of Youth Akali Dal on Facebook. The page suggested that the leader had visited the Golden Temple on New Year’s Eve. It is noteworthy that Majithia was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, on December 20. He has since been absconding from arrest.
ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ਜਾਈ ਉਸੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਤੁਮਰੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਆਇਆ।
Soon after social media posts, the photos were carried by The Times of India, The Economic Times, Zee News, The Indian Express, Aaj Tak and Dainik Bhaskar. The reports suggested Majithia appeared at the Golden Temple even as opposition parties have been criticising the Congress government in Punjab for failing to arrest him.
The news of Majithia’s alleged appearance was also posted on Twitter by journalists Man Aman Singh Chhina, Mohit Behl, Aman Sharma. The Twitter accounts of India Today, Aaj Tak, Zee News, Amar Ujala, India TV and News24 did the same.
After performing a keyword search on Facebook in Punjabi, we came across a report by PTC News from January 1, 2021, where SAD MLA Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Manjhitia can be seen paying obeisance at the Golden Temple.
Below we have juxtaposed the viral photos and stills from PTC News’s report to show similarities. A man in a red turban and another in a blue turban are present with Manjhitia. They can both be spotted in the viral video and the PTC News clip. But more importantly, Manjhitia is in the exact clothes.
We also found a Facebook post with the same set of photos of Bikram Singh Manjhitia shared by Rozana Spokesman, a Punjabi daily, on January 1, 2021.
ਨਵੇਂ ਸਾਲ ਦੇ ਆਗਮਨ ਮੌਕੇ ਰੂਹਾਨੀਅਤ ਦੇ ਦਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਖੇ ਨਤਮਸਤਕ ਹੋਏ ਸੁਖਬੀਰ ਬਾਦਲ, ਹਰਸਿਮਰਤ ਬਾਦਲ ਤੇ ਬਿਕਰਮ ਮਜੀਠੀਆ
Similarly, the photos were also shared on the Facebook page of Shiromani Akali Dal Majitha.
ਨਵੇਂ ਸਾਲ ਮੌਕੇ ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਦਲ ਦੇ ਜਰਨਲ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਕੈਬਨਿਟ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਸ ਬਿਕਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਮਜੀਠੀਆ ਜੀ ਅੱਜ ਧੰਨ ਧੰਨ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ…
Hence, old photos of Bikram Singh Manjhitia were shared as a recent visit to the Golden Temple after the leader was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.