With rising tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, there has been a surge in misinformation over the issue on social media. Several unverified images and videos with misleading claims are being massively circulated.
In one such case, an image from India’s first UN peacekeeping mission during the Korean war (1950-54) is being shared with a false claim that it from the 1967 Nathu La clashes between India and China and shows a Chinese prisoner-of-war (POW) fearing punishment from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) after China lost the conflict.
The image shows a distraught soldier being carried by two Indian Army personnel and it is being shared with a claim which reads, “Historic Photo: 1967 Nathula! Chinese soldier(POW) fearing punishment from #PLA for surrendering, don't want to go back. Indian Troops returned him after #China lost the conflict and went back into its territory! #LAC #ladhakh tensions will be China's 1971 #Bangladesh moment! (sic)”
WHAT WE FOUND
A Google reverse image search helped us find an article published on History.com, a known website for historical stories, which carried the same image. Titled ‘The Korean War Hasn't Officially Ended. One Reason: POWs’, the article attributed the image to Getty Images and mentioned that it is from the 1950-53 Korean war.
Next, we found the original image by Getty Images in their archives.
The Getty description mentioned that the image shows Indian soldiers carrying a Chinese prisoner-of-war in North Korea. “Two Indian soldiers carrying a weeping Chinese prisoner-of-war to the exchange point in Panmunjom, North Korea, for return to the Communists after the Korean War, 5th October 1953. He was among 65 Chinese soldiers who asked to be repatriated to their homeland,” it stated.
INDIA’S ROLE IN THE KOREAN WAR
As a part of its first UN peacekeeping mission, India deployed a medical unit, the 60th Para Field Ambulance – a parachute-trained medical unit comprising 17 officers, nine junior commissioned officers (JCO) and 300 jawans in the 1950-1954 Korean War.
India also played a key role in seeking political and diplomatic resolution of the war.
THE 1967 INDO-CHINA CONFLICT
In 1967, Nathu La and Cho La clashes were a series of clashes between India and China along the Sikkim border. Unhappy with India’s decision to erect iron pickets along the border from Nathu La to Sebu La, the Chinese began to heckle Indian soldiers. Similar clashes were seen along the Cho La pass. At least 88 Indian soldiers and over 340 Chinese troops lost their lives in the battles and over a thousand were injured.
So, as illustrated, An image from the Korean War in the 1950s, showing Indian soldiers on a UN peacekeeping mission, helping in the repatriation of Chinese POW is being falsely shared as that of the 1967 Indo-China conflict along the Sikkim border.
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