Several personnel on both sides of the border were reported injured in the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on December 9 in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. After the news came to light on December 12, many leaders of the opposition questioned the government’s attitude on matters of national security. They alleged that there was an attempt to keep such a significant development under wraps.
Against this backdrop, Union minister and BJP MP from Arunachal (West) Kiren Rijiju tweeted a picture posing with Indian Army soldiers. The accompanying caption read, ‘Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army.’
Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army. pic.twitter.com/PVrW7usMyn
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) December 17, 2022
Several media outlets carried this image, claiming that the Union minister had visited the Yangtze region in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, to meet Indian troops following the December 9 Indo-Chinese skirmish.
News agency ANI tweeted the image in Kiren Rijiju’s tweet verbatim.
“Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army,” tweets Union minister Kiren Rijiju. pic.twitter.com/Zq3IzjJVCm
— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2022
India Today Group’s Hindi channel Aaj Tak aired the picture in a news bulletin, claiming that Rijiju was the first to reach Tawang after the clash.
Zee News also made the same claim while promoting the visual in one of its programmes.
Times Now also ran this picture with the same claim.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju meets Indian Army jawans in Tawang.
“Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army,” he wrote on Twitter.
Srinjoy Chowdhury shares more details with @kritsween. pic.twitter.com/VGBppJaG22
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) December 17, 2022
Right wing propaganda website OpIndia also tweeted the image shared by Rijiju with a similar claim.
Kiren Rijiju visits Yangtse in Tawang where Chinese military clashed with Indian soldiers, says Arunachal Pradesh is fully securedhttps://t.co/pZy30RDDzW
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) December 17, 2022
A number of media outlets, including NDTV, India Today, Hindustan Times, InKhabar, ETV Bharat, Navbharat Times, News24, Jagran, ABP News, TV9 Bharatvarsh, NewsTrack, East Mojo, India TV, and India’s public news service division – All India Radio, promoted the image with the same claim.
Alt News noticed that several Twitter users replied to the minister’s tweet in question, pointing out that this was an old photo. Among them was Congress leader Supriya Shrinate, who tweeted a screenshot in response and wrote, “You shouldn’t have included a photo from 2019.” The screenshot clearly shows that Rijiju had tweeted the same image on October 29, 2019.
फ़ोटो तो 2019 की ना चिपकाते @KirenRijiju https://t.co/fR9FZY07I2 pic.twitter.com/QHILEE48qs
— Supriya Shrinate (@SupriyaShrinate) December 17, 2022
On searching Twitter, we found that Rijiju had indeed shared the same photo on October 29, 2019. In this tweet, he wrote that he was celebrating the auspicious occasion of Diwali with the Arunachal Scouts of the Indian Army. It is worth noting that in 2019, Diwali fell on October 28 and 29.
The Arunachal Scouts is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. It is guarding India’s border with China in Arunachal Pradesh. It specializes in mountain warfare. Happy to be with them on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. pic.twitter.com/7KAHewrp4o
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 29, 2019
To sum it up, it is clear that Union minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted a three-year-old picture falsely linking it to the recent skirmish in the Yangtze region of Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The photo was carried by a number of media outlets without verification, who claimed that the photo was taken after the recent clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on December 9. Alt News can’t independently confirm whether the Union minister visited Tawang after the December 9 clash.
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