Two old videos of Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing is being shared with false claims that it shows Colonel Santosh Babu confronting the soldiers from Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of China, before he was killed in action during the recent tensions between the two countries at Galwan, Ladakh
ABN Andhra Jyothi, a Telugu news channel uploaded a news clip on YouTube on June 18, 2020, claiming it showed, "Santhosh Babu Conversation with China Soldiers". The channel also labeled its watermark logo on the clip.
Col. Santosh Babu was the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment and was one of the first to have been reported dead during the escalated tensions in Ladakh on June 15, 2020, which resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers including Babu. Beijing is yet to release an official statement on the number of causalities it has incurred.
The 4.49 minute clip is actually a combined version of separate previous altercations - one involving Indo Tibetan Border Police and other between Indian Army Infantry Grenadiers and not the Bihar regiment, to which the Colonel belonged. While one of the videos is from January 2020, the other dates back to 2017 according to search results.
Viral on Facebook
The news clip used by ABN Andhra Jyothi (ABN Telugu) went viral on Facebook with the same false claim in Telugu which when translated reads, "Colonel Santosh Babu's last words to the Chinese"
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(In Telugu - కల్నల్ సంతోష్ బాబు చైనా వాళ్ళతో చివరగా మాట్లాడిన మాటలు.....)
BOOM found that footage clips used in the viral video by ABN Telugu predate the recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops on June 15, 2020. BOOM had previously debunked the same viral clip when it was tweeted by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala passing it off as the recent clash.
We ran a few reverse image searches using keyframes from both the footage in the ABN video, and found multiple traces of them having existed online before the recent clash at Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.
Clip 1: (Till 1.58 minutes)
The search results of the first footage led us to a YouTube video, uploaded on January 13, 2020 by a channel named YB Vlog, titled, "Chinese army arguing with Indo Tibetan Border Police (I.T.B.P.) in Border of Arunachal Pradesh."
While BOOM could not verify the date of origin of this footage, the results show that the incident is before the recent India-China clash in Galvan Valley by and is therefore unrelated to it.
Additionally, in the first part of the viral clip, one can spot 'ITBP' written on the uniform of the Indian jawan confronting the Chinese soldier. ITBP stands for 'Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force' and it falls under the Central Armed Police Forces (CRPF) and not the Indian Armed forces. Late Col. Santosh Babu was the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army and not a part of the ITBP which further proves that he is not present in the viral clip as being claimed.
Clip 2: From 1.58 to 4.49 minutes
The search results of the second footage led us to a YouTube video titled "Watch: Jawans stop Chinese soldiers from entering Indian territory Part 1", uploaded by Deccan Herald on July 7, 2017.
Deccan Herald mentions in the caption that they could not verify the authenticity of the videos and states that the video is undated, and "presumed to be shot in the second week of June that shows Indian troop".
We could not independently verify the origins of the video either, however we could establish that the clips are not recent and do not show Late Colonel Santosh Babu confronting Chinese troops.
BOOM had previously debunked an image of a young child joining her hands as a gesture of respect to a photo of Colonel Santosh Babu, which had gone viral with a false claim that the girl is the deceased colonel's daughter.
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