An old picture of a large number of coffins wrapped in the Indian tricolour is being falsely shared as an image of the coffins of all the Indian Army personnel who died in the violent face-off between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA at the Galwan Valley on Monday, 15 June.
The picture also shows more than 20 coffins, which has the potential to mislead people into believing that India lost more than soldiers than originally acknowledged by the government.
Many people shared this photo of the coffins wrapped in the Indian flag in the aftermath of the Galwan face-off, expressing their condolences and mourning the deaths of the soldiers. While some did not explicitly state a reference to Galwan, sharing such a photo in the current environment makes it clear that one is implying the same clash.
The photo was viral on Twitter with this claim.
WHAT WE FOUND
We were aware that no photos of coffins of the 20 soldiers of the Indian Army who were killed in the Galwan clash have been released officially, although their names have been. Further, on seeing the photo, we could count more than 20 coffins, which made it evident that the photo could not be related to the Galwan incident, since the government has so far announced just those many casualties.
On performing a reverse search on the photo, we found that several Facebook pages had shared the photo in February 2019, notably, after 14 February, which is when the Pulwama terror attack had occurred. 40 CRPF jawans died in that attack.
We also found the photo in a Reddit thread from a year ago, which also claimed that the coffins seen in the photo housed the mortal remains of the CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama.
We then looked at the photos of the coffins of the jawans killed in Pulwama. While we could not find the exact photo, we found similar photos of the coffins laid out as politicians paid their tributes to them.
According to reports, after the Pulwama attack, all 40 coffins had first been flown by the Indian Air Force to Delhi’s Palam airport, where PM Modi and other political leaders paid them final respects in an official ceremony.
While, the exact origin of the viral photo could not be ascertained, it is clear that an old photo dating back at least to February 2019 is being used to claim that these are the mortal remains of the troops killed in Galwan.
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