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No, This Is Not The Pilot Who Carried Out The IAF Air Strike

No, This Is Not The Pilot Who Carried Out The IAF Air Strike

A number of WhatsApp forwards and social media posts falsely claim that Tuesday’s air strike at Balakot was carried out by a female pilot called Urvashi Jariwala.

Featured Image

A photo of Sneha Shekhawat, India’s first female fighter pilot to lead the Indian Air Force squadron at the Republic Day Parade, is being falsely shared as one of the pilots of the Tuesday morning air strike at Balakot.

The post also claimed that her name was Urvisha Jariwala and that she was a student of Bhulka Bhavan school in Surat.

Click here to view an archived version of the post.

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Click here to view an archived version of the post.

BOOM did a reverse image search of the photo and found out that the person in the image is actually Sneha Shekhawat, a squadron leader for the Indian Air Force (IAF), who was the first woman to lead the IAF contingent at the Republic Day Parade in 2012.

Also Read: Old Video Of Jubilant Soldiers Revived In The Aftermath Of IAF Air Strike

A website called Bharat Rakshak, which contains a database of military personnel and officers, has listed Shekhawat as an IAF officer and has used the same photo in her profile.

Screenshot of webpage Bharat Rakshak
Screenshot of Bharat Rakshak page on Shekhawat

Was she one of the pilots of the air strike at Balakot?

A source with the Indian Air Force, who did not wish to be named, said that none of the names of the operatives involved in the air strike have been released due to confidentiality.

“We have not released any names of any officers. In fact there has been no official statement from the IAF except what the foreign secretary made. All such claims are rubbish.”

Defence analyst Nitin Gokhale said that female pilots have been recently commissioned into the force and that it was unlikely they would
partake in a sensitive mission as a cross-border air strike.

The post claiming to provide information on one of the pilots of Balakot air strike is therefore fake.

Also Read: Video Game Clip Goes Viral As IAF Airstrikes At Jaish Camp

Also Read: IAF Air Strike: Parody News Handles Have A Field Day On Twitter

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Claim Review : Image shows pilot who carried out the IAF air strike at Balakot

Fact Check : FALSE

Archis is a fact-checker and reporter at BOOM. He has previously worked as a journalist for broadsheet newspapers and in communications for a social start-up incubator. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and a Master's in Media and Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam.


1 Comment

  1. rajan

    February 26 at 8:57 pm

    This was a secret mission and names may not be declared immediately. Perhaps may be a threat for her and family. Some mischievous persons do like this.

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