Veterans Write to PM Against Islamophobic Fake News About 1965 War

The letter by Armed Force veterans pointed out that the Indian Army did not have a Muslim Regiment in 1965 at all.

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Twenty Indian armed force veterans on Wednesday, 14 October, wrote to Prime Minister Modi and President Kovind to draw their attention to a viral social media fake news post denigrating Indian Muslim soldiers, according to media reports.

What is the (FAKE) News?

According to The Wire, the social media post contains fake news about a non-existent “Muslim regiment”, which refused to fight for the Indian Army in the 1965 war against Pakistan.

The Wire further shared a screenshot of the post which incorrectly claims: “In 1965 there was a regiment in Indian Army called Muslim regiment which refused to fight against Pakistan after which it was dismantled.”

According to The Wire, the letter claims that this particular post was originally tweeted in 2013 by a Twitter account called “World Hindus United.”


What are the Retired Armed-Force Officers Saying?

NDTV further reported that the letter by veterans points out that this claim was revived amid the Indo-China border standoff.

The retired officers of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force reportedly wrote that the lie was “"being spread by forces inimical to our country and our Armed Forces, which will adversely affect morale and national security".

Further, according to NDTV, the letter pointed out that the Indian Army did not have a Muslim Regiment in 1965 at all, and has not had one since.

“We further wish to point out that Muslims fighting as part of multi-class regiments proved their absolute commitment to the cause of our nation.”   
Armed Force Veterans   

The retired officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force also, according to NDTV, went on to cite examples of Havildar Abdul Hamid, Param Vir Chakra, and Major Abdul Rafey Khan, who lost his life fighting a Pakistani Division led by his own uncle during the 1965 war.

The letter also said that such false claims about Muslim soldiers “denigrates and questions the loyalty of all serving and retired Muslim soldiers.”

The letter also said that this piece of fake news may also be partly to blame for the increasing anti-Muslim feeling among Indians, reported NDTV.

For the sake of national interest, the veterans sought an immediate probe into the antecedents of people behind the hoax and asked for a warning to be given to social media platforms Facebook and Twitter against "enabling" the spread of it, reported NDTV.

(With inputs from The Wire and NDTV.)

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