Ladakh standoff: Media broadcasting fake WhatsApp forward on 30 Chinese troops killed.

A military toss-up between troops of India and China intensified on Monday 15th June in the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in which at least 20 soldiers of Indian army were martyred. Hypothesizing on the number of casualties that took place in Chinese troops are on hike while both sides are holding each other accountable for incitement.

Many media houses and news reports asserted that 5 soldiers were killed with 11 injured of the People Liberation Army. It was followed by the claim that 43 Chinese soldiers lost their lives. Later it turned out to be unverified and misleading information.

Fake WhatsApp forward

Claims

A viral WhatsApp forward mentioning the names of 30 dead Chinese soldiers found its way to Times Now, an English channel which surged the news that China accepted that 30 soldiers were killed in the Ladakh standoff via a post on their Twitter handle. It attributed Global Times which is China based as its source, although later the tweets were taken down.

A Twitter user Prashant Patel Umrao also asserted the news that 30 Chinese soldiers were killed via his tweet. He has often been found escalating misleading information on social media. GD Bakshi, retired major journalist also shared the same tweet. He is often on Times Now as a panelist.

But the message was already accelerating on Twitter before Times now shared it.

On Facebook and Twitter a widely spread claim mentioned that a spokesperson from Western Theatre Command for defences of China’s border has put forward the names of 30 dead soldiers.

Times Now also broadcasted this news where the names of 30 dead Chinese soldiers were read out by the anchors Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar. Although the Times Now perceived the faux pas and hence didn’t take the claim integrally, but stated in the end that this list by Global Times might be a fake forward.

The whole message which attributes Global Times as its source, sites link to chinanews.com.

Truth

Searching through the website of Global Times and its Twitter account it is found that  it didn’t publish regarding any casualties in the Ladakh standoff. There were tweets related to military conflicts and conversations between ministers of India and China but nothing was mentioned about 30 Chinese troops killed in any of the tweets. The website Global times also didn’t bring up any such news. 

Pertinently the editor chief of Global Times, Hu Xijin clarified in his tweet on 16th June that Chinese side hasn’t released any casualties officially that occurred in the clash.

 The Government of India however has released the number of dead soldiers to be 20 and at least 76 injured also saying that casualties occurred on both sides, though China hasn’t released any information. Due to the 1996 agreement which mentions that explosives and guns are prohibited in the valley, the soldiers clashed without any firearms. 

Narendra Modi held a virtual all party meet on Friday in which more than 15 parties were called to discuss the escalating border tension which claimed 20 Indian soldiers. 

Anurag Srivastava, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of India said that a telephonic conversation was held on last Wednesday between foreign ministers of both the countries which resulted into an agreement that this situation should be looked over in a responsible way.

To read more on Fake News, click here.

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