Pak Media Falls for Old Videos, Pics Amid Stand-Off With India
On Wednesday, 27 February, Pakistan claimed that the Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. According to Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor, one of the aircraft fell inside the Indian territory, while the other fell on Pakistani soil.
This comes a day after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).
Amid this, an IAF chopper crashed at Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam. The Pakistani military, however, said it had not engaged with the helicopter.
Soon after, people on Twitter shared visuals, purportedly from the accident site in Budgam, where the IAF aircraft had crashed.
The first photo, used by Pakistani daily Dawn, showed a mangled Indian aircraft. The newspaper claimed this was from the Budgam crash site. Only, it wasn't. A reverse image search showed us that the photo is that of a Hawk A-3492 jet, which had crashed in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district in 2015.
The second photo, used by several Pakistanis on Twitter, and also by some TV channels from the country, showed a similar aircraft, which appeared to have crashed.
Some users also shared images of Pakistani news channels – ARY News and 92 News HD – using clips and videos of a crashed Indian aircraft, claiming it was from Budgam. The serial number on the wing of this aircraft read TU657.
Again, this aircraft is NOT from Budgam, but from a 2016 crash in Jodhpur. The aircraft seen in the picture is a MiG-27 fighter jet, and not an Mi-17 helicopter, which had crashed in Budgam.
Meanwhile, another video of an injured IAF pilot was shared by Twitter users, claiming he was the Indian pilot who had been captured by Pakistani forces.
This clip was also used by a Pakistani news channel '24 News HD.'
Only, the video was actually of an injured IAF pilot after a Suryakiran plane crashed in Bengaluru while training for the Aero India event earlier this month. The pilot in the video is Wing Commander Vijay Shelke, who survived the accident after two IAF jets collided mid air. This particular video was widely shared after a 22-year-old engineering student held Shelke's hand, assuring the pilot to "stay calm" as they waited for help to arrive after the crash.
In the rush to report the news first, Pakistani news channels appeared to have fallen prey to a familiar trap: selling off old visuals as fresh images.
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