Fake Claim Of Chinese PLA Killing 300 Indian Troops Surfaces
BOOM reached out to Indian Army PRO who confirmed that the claims are false and no such news about deaths of Indian soldiers were released by the Indian Army.
Two old and undated photographs showing soldiers engaged in a clash and being taken captive are viral with false claims that 300 Indian troops were killed by the Chinese PLA in the recent skirmish in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang last week.
Clashes between the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army troops were reported from the Yangste area of Tawang along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on December 9.
The photographs are circulating on Twitter and WhatsApp with the text: "China kills over 300 indian troops #Tawang (sic.)"
The image and the caption was also sent to BOOM's tipline for verification.
No serious injuries reported: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
On December 13, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament that no serious injuries have been reported from the clashes between the Indian and Chinese troops. In a statement made in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Rajnath Singh said, "I wish to share with this House that there are no fatalities or serious casualties on our side." He said Indian soldiers "compelled" the troops from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to return to their posts after the scuffle. According to the statement made by Singh, on Friday, December 9, Chinese troops entered the Indian territory and wanted to "unilaterally change the status quo". Members of both troops got into a scuffle, and the minister said that India troops contested the intruders "in a firm and resolute manner". Singh said, "The scuffle led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides. I wish to share with this House that there are no fatalities or serious casualties on our side."
The PLA soldiers reportedly went back to their locations and the local commander in the area also held a flag march on December 11 with the Chinese counterpart. India asked China to refrain from entering Indian territory and maintain peace in the area. "I would like to assure this House, that our Forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it. I am confident that this entire House will stand united in supporting our soldiers in their brave effort," Singh said.
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Furthermore, The Hindu reported about a statement by PLA's senior Colonel Long Shaohua, spokesperson for the Western Theatre Command released after the skirmish.
An excerpt from the report reads, "the Chinese military was conducting "a regular patrol in the Dongzhang area" on "the Chinese side of the LAC" when the troops were "blocked by the Indian Army illegally crossing" the line.
BOOM also reached out to Lt Col MS Rawat, PRO, Indian Army, who denied any information about 300 Indian soldiers being killed in the skirmish. Rawat told BOOM, "The Indian Army has not released any such news about the death of soldiers. This is untrue."
Old and undated photos viral
BOOM was also able to ascertain that the photographs are old and not related to the recent skirmish.
The same images were tweeted by Chinese journalist Shen Shiwei on November 7, 2021, alleging that they show Indian soldiers taken captive by PLA in Galwan valley, Ladakh in June 2020. However, BOOM could not independently verify the authenticity of the images.
The Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed in Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020 resulting in deaths in both the sides of the troops. According to reports 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action; Beijing however did not reveal the number of casualties in the Chinese side.
Replies from Indian Twitter accounts have claimed that the pictures could have been staged pointing out that the uniform of the captive soldiers and hair length don't match those of Indian soldiers.
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