An undated video showing a group of Indian Army soldiers thwarting an advance by People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops and forcing them to retreat, has gone viral on social media after the recent clash between the two sides in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
In the viral video, Indian soldiers can be seen wielding sticks, clubs wrapped with barbed wire and throw rocks at Chinese troops who try to cross a stone wall on a hill.
Also, in the video green vegetation can be seen on the slopes of the mountains with no visible snow. This indicates it is not from the recent clash that took place in December.
The video emerged after Indian and Chinese troops clashed in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh on the intervening night of December 8-9, 2022 with both sides beating each other up with sticks and canes. Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on December 13, that there were injuries on both sides and claimed that there are no fatalities or serious casualties on the Indian side.
A spokesperson of the PLA Western Theater Command put out a statement on December 13, 2022, saying, "the PLA dealt with the situation with professional, standard and powerful measures and stabilized the situation. The two sides have now disengaged from contact:"
India Today Senior Executive Editor Shiv Aroor tweeted the viral video stating that it is undated and that it was from a clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers.
The same video was also tweeted by several other journalists and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the wake of the recent clash.
India Today later ran the viral video with a date key which said the video was from 2021.
What do we know so far?
BOOM was able to geo-locate the video to an area near the Chumi Gyatse falls in Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh using online tools like Google Earth Pro and Peakfinder.
The video shows clearly defined mountain peaks, a river running downhill in the distance and a stone wall.
We then looked for the same mountain range and river next to it on Google Earth.
BOOM found that the location seen in the viral video matched with the location coordinates - 27°46'40"N 91°59'18"E
Here we can see the same outline of the mountain range seen in the visuals of the clash.
This location is right above Holly Water falls near Chumi Gyatse waterfall in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
Using same coordinates on Peakfinder, we were able to locate the same peak we can see in the video the alignment also matched.
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A comparison of the mountain peak visible in the viral video on Peakfinder and Google Earth Pro match which indicates they are from the same location in Tawang.
We can see how this looks on Google Earth Pro in the below video:
Similar stone wall in Google Maps and viral video
Additionally, we also checked with the same coordinates on Google Maps, and we could spot a wall or path like structure visible as can be seen in the viral video where a stone wall is there.
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This stone wall structure can be seen in the viral video too.
Video Not From Recent Clash
According to news reports the latest clash between the two armies is said to have happened on the intervening night of December 8-9, 2022. The viral video is estimated to be older as it does not show any snow but shows green vegetation on the slopes of the mountain.
We checked Sentinel Hub, which is an engine for processing of petabytes of satellite data.
The terrain visible in the Sentinel hub for December 7, 2022, and December 9, 2022, is barren and has snow, whereas in the viral video we can see a lot of greenery and no snow present on the peaks. Visuals of the same location from December 8 this year are not available.
In the below GIF we can see the barren terrain with snow on December 7 and December 9, 2022.
Additionally, BOOM reached out to the Indian Army for details on the viral video. A source said that the Indian Army has not released any video of the recent clash and hence cannot verify the viral video.
"The Army has not released any video after the clash. We cannot verify any such video, because it is not official from our side," the source explained. He further added that the Army did not have details about the exact location of the recent clash in Tawang. "We had only limited details, which have been shared. Even Home Minister Rajnath Singh has put out a statement regarding the incident."
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