Photo Comparison Of CRPF Jawan Vs Commando Is Misleading
BOOM found that the claim is misleading as it shows soldiers from two separate units of the para-military force.
A collage of two photos showing Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) soldiers from two separate units is is being shared with a misleading claim that it shows how the para-military force has been transformed under the Narendra Modi led government.
BOOM found that the posts are misleading as it compares the uniform and gear of a CRPF jawan with that of a CRPF commando.
The posts are being shared with the text 'Look how Hindustan has changed'. The year 2012 is written on one photo, which shows a CRPF jawan dressed in regular khakis, and 2022 is written on the other photo which has a soldier in camouflage uniform and posing with state-of-the-art equipment.
A similar photo with a different CRPF soldier on the left is being shared on Twitter with the caption making a direct claim that it shows the transformation of CRPF jawans under the BJP government. The caption reads, "CRPF jawan 2011 Vs CRPF Jawan 2022. Choose wisely India. Jai Hind"
BOOM found that the collage is misleading as it draws a false comparison between a jawan and a commando belonging to an elite commando unit - of the Central Reserved Police Force.
We first ran a reverse image search on each of the three photos and this is what we found
A reverse image search for the above photo led us to Alamy - a photo website where the same picture had been uploaded in 2012 with the caption, "Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) member questioning a Kashmiri Muslim woman during a curfew in Srinagar.
The photo shows a CRPF personnel in a camouflage uniform standing guard with a rifle
A reverse image search showed the same picture uploaded on Alamy in 2017 with the caption saying it showed "a CRPF security personnel stands guard in Downtown Srinagar during restriction imposed." and the photographer identified as Arbaz Mughal.
The tweets sharing the photo incorrectly claim that the image was taken in 2011.
A search showed that the same photo had been uploaded to photo agency, Getty on January 22, 2021 with the caption, "Commando on high alert ahead of Republic Day celebration at Rashtriya Rangshala Camp, on January 22, 2021 in New Delhi, India"
We then reached out to a senior official in the CRPF who on the condition of anonymity said the comparison is misleading as the soldiers though in the CRPF belong to different units.
"The photo of the CRPF personnel wearing black camouflage with the head gear and glasses shows the Valley Quick Action Team, an elite special ops unit of the force," the senior official told BOOM.
"The Valley-QAT team does not do regular patrolling, as the personnel in the other photos can be seen doing. They are technically commandos with special training and deployed only for certain ops."
He added that comparing the Valley-QAT came into force in 2012 and is not a recent addition post the 2014 elections when BJP came to power.
"The Valley-QAT team is only posted in Kashmir, that too in areas where the CRPF has access. They go for special missions and are not to be found at regular check points where one can see other CRPF jawans." He further added, "There have been advancements and state-of-the-art gear brought in for all CRPF units. But this comparison is trying to give it a political spin and that is wrong."
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