Viral Facebook posts and tweets claiming that Madan Sharma - a senior citizen who was assaulted by Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai last week -worked for the merchant navy and was not part of the Indian Navy, are false.
BOOM reached out to Sharma's son Sunny Sharma, who clarified that his father was in the Indian Navy as a Chief Petty Officer (Chief Electrical Power) from 1974 to 1990. Sharma later worked as an official in the merchant navy, post retirement.
Madan Sharma, 65, was attacked by Shiv Sena activists in Mumbai on September 11 for allegedly forwarding a cartoon mocking Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on WhatsApp. After the attack, photos posted online showed Sharma with a bloodshot eye and injuries to his face . A Shiv Sena leader and five others were arrested following an FIR by Sharma. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted condemning the attack on a retired serviceman.
Spoke to retired naval officer, Shri Madan Sharma who was attacked by hooligans in Mumbai and enquired about his health. Such attacks on Ex-Servicemen is completely unacceptable and deplorable. I wish Madanji a speedy recovery.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 12, 2020
Soon after, netizens shared screenshots of Sharma's Facebook profile, where he has described his work as 'merchant navy,' and claimed that Sharma was recruited in the commercial navy sector and had no involvement in the armed forces. Click here to view the archive of the Sharma's Facebook profile.
#BigBreaking New Input on #NavyVeteran— Straight Forward (@Raja_Africa) September 13, 2020
Now we know that so called #NavyOfficer is from #MerchantNavy
Thanks for a good discussion that led me to dig details @SaketGokhale & @Sagar_241068 @sardesairajdeep @SardesaiVarun @sachin_inc @BhaiJagtap1 @advanilparab @AnilDeshmukhNCP pic.twitter.com/vnmLJSUFjJ
Netizens also 'called out' several verified Twitter users for referring to Sharma as a retired Indian Navy officer or an Ex-Serviceman. A graphic, with screenshots of tweets where Sharma has been identified as a Navy officer has also surfaced with a similar narrative on Facebook and WhatsApp.
BOOM reached out to Sharma's son, Sunny Sharma, who shared with us a photo of his Ex-Servicemen Identity Card.
He further clarified, "My father has worked in Indian Navy from 1974-1990." According to the ID card (MAH-01/013527) the registration number of Sharma "201814-W" and his Regiment/Corps is listed as Navy. Sharma's rank according to the card is CHEL(P), which stands for Chief Electrical Power.
Sunny Sharma also shared a photograph of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) smart card of Madan Sharma with BOOM, which stated that Sharma's rank at the time of retirement was Chief Petty Officer.
Sunny further corroborated Madan Sharma's Facebook profile. "This profile is his after he joined merchant navy. My father joined merchant navy after serving the Indian Navy for 16 years." BOOM reached out to an official from the Indian Navy, who confirmed that Sharma was a senior sailor or Chief Petty Officer with the Indian Navy at the time of his retirement.
Updated On: 2020-09-18T11:22:42+05:30
Claim Review : Madan Sharma worked in the merchant navy and not Indian Navy
Claimed By : Facebook and Twitter users
Fact Check : False