Ever since the news of skirmish between Indian and Chinese Army in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang broke on Monday, social media platforms have been swamped with posts praising the valour and courage of the Indian army. In this context, several users shared videos claiming to show the December 9 skirmish between the two armies in Tawang.
One such video shows two groups of soldiers engaging in a physical altercation while the other clip shows soldiers from one side vandalising another’s car while hurling abuses at them. Newchecker found that both the videos are old and unrelated to scuffle between the Indian Army and the Chinese Army last week.
Note: The videos carry abusive language and violence and will not be embedded by Newschecker in this article.
What Did The Defence Minister Say?
Addressing the Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “On December 9 in Yangtse area of Tawang sector PLA troops encroached upon and attempted to change status quo.This attempt was tackled by our troops in a determined manner. Our troops bravely stopped the PLA from encroaching upon our territory and forced them to go back to their post.” He added, “… In this fight, soldiers of both sides were injured. I want to assure the House that no Indian soldier was killed or severely injured.” Singh’s full statement can be seen here.
Rajnath Singh’s tweet about the same can be seen below.
Newschecker attempted to verify the authenticity of both videos
A Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral clip led us to a YouTube video by Navneet Kumar Rai, dated June 20, 2020, titled ‘Indian Troopers beating Chinese PLA Chicoms in a ✊ Fight on LAC | Part-1.’ It showcased a 2:20-minute-long video of what appears to be a skirmish between the Indian and the Chinese soldiers.
On comparing the keyframes of the viral footage and the YouTube video, we could conclude that they both show the same incident. The YouTube video by Navneet Kumar Rai is a longer version of the clip being shared with a claim to show the recent clash between the Indian Army and the PLA in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh.
Taking a clue, we conducted a keyword search for “Indian, “China,” & “soldiers clash” on Google and set the time frame of the search between June 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. This yielded a YouTube video by NDTV, dated June 22, 2020, titled ‘Video Shows High Altitude Clash Between Indian, China Soldiers In Sikkim.’
The description of the video read, “Indian and Chinese officers are seen clashing in a video of a high-altitude skirmish in Sikkim that has emerged days after the deadly face-off at Ladakh. A Chinese officer is punched by an Indian jawan as soldiers of both sides brawl in the mobile phone video that lasts over five minutes.”
Several keyframes of the video were identical to those of the viral footage. A comparison of the same can be seen below.
Another YouTube video by India Today, dated June 22, 2020 featured snippets from the viral clip. The description of the video read, “A new video has emerged showing a group of Indian soldiers jostling and pushing back four-five Chinese troops at the border. The video comes as both India and China sit down to talk about de-escalation after last week’s clash at Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.”
The anchor can be heard saying that the location of the “undated” video is “likely” to be Sikkim, however he added that the coronavirus masks (soldier seen wearing face masks in the video) suggests that it is recent.
Thus, media reports indicate that the viral video that is being shared as clashes between the Indian army and the PLA in Tawang, is at least over 2 years old.
We conducted Yandex reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video which directed us to a tweet dated June 17, 2020 by @inosmi. The tweet carried an image with the caption in Russian, “Daily Mail (UK): Fight to the death between Chinese and Indian soldiers.” It also shared a link. On inspecting the same we were led to a YouTube video by INDfo, dated May 31, 2020.
On comparing the keyframes of the YouTube video with the widely circulated footage, we found them to be identical. This confirms that the viral video is over 2 years old and unrelated to December 9 clashes between the Indian and the Chinese army.
The video was also uploaded by one Prince Kr. Upadhyay on YouTube on May 31, 2020, titled ‘Indian Army Beating Chines PLA Army in LAC 2020 (sic).’ Another YouTube channel J.D Skylark ladakh T.V also shared the footage on the same day.
Journalist Shiv Aroor also shared a longer version of the viral video in a tweet dated June 17, 2020, with the caption, “Clearer and clearer that the June 15 bloodbath in Galwan was not spontaneous, but was 100% Chinese premeditated. Spontaneous clashes between India-China troops have never resulted in death or even serious injury, for instance this most recent one from late May in Pangong”
Lallantop did a video report based on the same on June 24, 2022. The same can be seen below.
Viral posts claiming to show the December 9 clash between the Indian Army and the PLA in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh are false. Both the viral videos are at least 2 years old, and are being shared in a false context.
Result: Partly False