An image showing police officials standing in front of a charred defence vehicle is going viral with claims that it shows the aftermath of the deadly ambush by militants in Manipur's Churachandpur district on November 13. The attack claimed the lives of five Assam Rifles personnel including Viplav Tripathi, the commanding officer of 46 Assam Rifles, along with his wife and eight-year-old son.
BOOM found the claims accompanying the viral image to be false; we traced the image to a 2015 attack on Indian Army personnel in Manipur's Chandel district.
The claim was shared by many on Facebook, including Bharatiya Janata Party member of parliament, and sitting Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Sharing the image on the social media platform, Shekhawat added the following caption:
"मणिपुर के चुराचांदपुर जिले के सिंघाट में आतंकियों द्वारा सेना के काफिले पर किया गया हमला देश के दुश्मनों की कायरता है।
मैं शहीद हुए असम राइफल्स के 7 जांबाजों को नमन करता हूं। घायल वीरों को शीघ्र स्वास्थ्य लाभ मिले। हम आपके कृतज्ञ और ऋणी हैं। परिजनों से पूरे देश की संवेदनाएं जुड़ी हुई हैं। यह तय है कि उन कायर हमलावरों को बख्शा नहीं जाएगा।"
(English translation: The attack on an army convoy by terrorists at Singhat in Churachandpur district of Manipur is the cowardice of the country's enemies.
I bow to the 7 brave soldiers of Assam Rifles who were martyred. The injured heroes should get speedy recovery. We are grateful and indebted to you. The condolences of the whole country are attached to the family. It is certain that those cowardly attackers will not be spared.)
We copied the text in the caption, and did a quick search on Facebook to find that the same image has been shared multiple times with the exact same caption in Hindi.
BOOM did a reverse image of the viral photo and found multiple news reports about an incident from June 4, 2015, where a convoy of Indian Army personnel were ambushed by militants in Manipur's Chandel district.
According to an NDTV report on the attack, which also carried the viral image, "18 army-men were killed and at least 11 injured when militants ambushed their convoy."
Looking through the reverse image search results, we traced the viral image to a Getty Images photo taken by AFP, uploaded on June 4, 2015.
The image carried the following caption:
"In this photograph taken on June 4, 2015, Indian security personnel stand alongside the smouldering vehicle wreckage at the scene of an attack on a military convoy in a remote area of Chandel district, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) southwest of northeastern Manipur's state capital Imphal. Heavily armed rebels in India's restive northeast killed at least 20 troops on June 4, police said, in one of the area's worst such attacks in years."
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