Ever since the brutal suicide bomb attack in Pulwama on February 14 killing 40 CRPF soldiers, several social media posts have gone viral that claim Congress-led UPA fought terrorism better than BJP-led NDA.
But a detailed fact check of the numbers show that the posts have tried to pass off numbers from various unrelated sources as data from the Central Information Commission (CIC) & South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP).
While SATP figures in these categories do not corroborate the numbers in these posts, the CIC is not legally mandated to maintain them.
We also found that these graphics are being shared by Twitter handles who are supportive of the Congress. One of these accounts is an unverified and unofficial page of a branch of the Youth Congress in Karnataka.
An archived version of this tweet can be found here. Two other accounts posted these too.
On further checking, these numbers resembled a graphic posted on the Facebook page, ‘Final War Against Corruption’ on February 18, 2019 and carries its watermark (FWAC).
The picture in the post was then picked up by a Facebook fan page of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
An archived version of the post can be found here.
The posts claim that in the period between 2009-2014 under the UPA-II regime, fewer number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place. There were fewer terror attacks, lesser casualties of security forces and civilians when compared to the 2014 – 2019, the period under the Modi-led NDA government. The post further cites the South Asian Terrorism Portal (the Facebook posts) and Central Information Commission (tweets) as its respective data sources.
Both of these Facebook pages have followings of more than five lakh users each.
Fact Check: 3 Reasons Why These Posts Are Peddling Fake Figures
Reason 1: These Numbers Have Been Picked Up From Unrelated Sources
The ceasefire agreement (CFA) violation numbers from the post are incorrect and have actually been reported in the context of a traffic police drive in the town of Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir.
On the February 7, 2019, Jammu & Kashmir Police conducted a traffic drive in Kishtwar, resulting in:
- 5,596 challans being issued
- 553 vehicles being impounded
Local media had reported this drive.
As reported in the Daily Excelsior:
This has also been reported in a daily called Greater Jammu
BOOM has reached out to the Jammu and Kashmir Police on the drive and are still to hear from them.
Reason 2: The Central Information Commission Does Not Maintain Terrorism Data
The posts cite the Central Information Commission (CIC) as the public authority from where these numbers have been sourced.
However, the CIC (or any of the State Information Commissions) are not tasked with maintaining these records. Data on terrorism and ceasefire agreement violations is officially available with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and is also independently recorded by the SATP.
The Information Commissions are bodies established by the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2015. Chapter 5 of the RTI Act lays out the powers and functions of the information commissions at the Union and State level.
To redress such grievances the information commissions has the mandate to summon required persons, receive testimonies and access documents from any court or office.
The RTI Act, 2005 can be found here on the official website of the Right to Information (rti.gov.in).
Reason 3: Data Disproves These Numbers
We are providing data from two sources to show that the numbers in these this post is incorrect:
- The South Asian Terrorism Portal
- The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
What SATP Data Says
Civilian and Military Casualties
Official data does not in any way concur with the statistics provided in the post.
Incidents of violence are reported only after 2014, and is not included in the historical time series dataset that the SATP maintains since 1994. We have provided data of incidents of violence as provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs after this section.
- From 2009 – 2013, 2,463 civilians and 1,328 security forces were killed – a far cry from the figures of 12 civilians and 139 security forces killed during the UPA-II as claimed by the social media posts.
- From 2014 – 2019, 1,227 civilians and 851 security forces were killed – again disproving the post stating 210 civilians and the 483 security forces were killed during the NDA.
Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) Violations Data
The SATP also shares data on the ceasefire violation – implying cross border firing – across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB).
The SATP has sourced these figures from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha answers and a statement given to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
While the numbers in the posts shared above are not correct, the data does show that there have been more CFA violations under the NDA than under the UPA.
A weekly volume of the SATP’s South Asian Intelligence Review (Volume 17, No. 34) as on February 18, 2019, states that recent CFA violations have been amongst the highest in 15 years.
From the data, we can conclude:
- During 2009 – 2013, 628 CFA violations have taken place during the UPA-II.
- From 2014 – 2019, 3041 CFA violations have taken place during the NDA.
None of the numbers as stated in the viral social media posts are from the SATP.
What MHA Data Says
The MHA releases numbers relating to security forces’ engagements with terrorists and extremists on three fronts; the reports of which can be read here:
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Left Wing Extremists
- Insurgency in the North-East
The data shows that:
- During the UPA II (2009 – 2013), 14,953 incidents of violence were recorded.
- During the NDA (2014 – 2018), 7,979 incidents of violence were recorded.
SATP toes MHA data since their data collection methods differ slightly – SATP relying on media and secondary sources whereas the MHA operates various official machinery (governmental wings, police forces etc.)
Earlier, BOOM factchecked Defence Minister Niramla Sitharaman’s claim when she said that no major terrorist incidents had happened in India after 2014.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at BJP National Convention in Delhi: We have not had one major terrorist attack in this country after 2014. This govt under the leadership of PM Modi has ensured one thing that there shall not be an opportunity for terrorists to disturb peace. pic.twitter.com/qWehbpZkFd— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2019
That article can be read here.