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Congress leaders and anti-BJP trolls spread fake news that Modi’s visit to Leh military hospital was staged: Here are the facts

On 23 June, 10 days before PM Modi’s visit, chief of army staff Gen MM Naravane had visited the hospital to meet the soldiers, and in the photographs, it can be seen that it is the same hospital visited by PM Modi.

A day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was caught passing of party workers and leaders as ordinary Ladakhis to paint PM Narendra Modi as liar, and Congress party and its ecosystem launched a massive propaganda today claim that the PM’s meeting with injured soldiers at Leh Military Hospital was staged.

Posting images from PM’s visit, Congress leader Abhishek Dutt yesterday claimed that it does not look like a hospital, because there is no drip, no medicines near the beds, and there are photographers instead of doctors.

Soon this claim was lapped up by hundreds of pro-Congress social media users to claim that the hospital visited by PM was actually staged, some even went on to claim that the patients seen in the photographs are actors, not real soldiers.

Others claimed that a conference hall was converted to hospital to take photographs of PM Modi. This included well known Twitter handles like @RealHistoryPic, a known anti-BJP handle, and so-called health journalist Vidya Krishnan, who has been on the forefront in spreading fake news during the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Several people also posted an old Photograph of Cricketer Lt Colonel MS Dhoni attending an event in a hall with interiors similar to the hospital visited by PM, and claimed that a hall was hurriedly converted to hospital for photo-op. Twitter users also pointed out that there is a ceiling mounted projector and a whites screen in the room, which means it is a conference and hence it must be a fake hospital.

The truth

Yesterday was not the first time when photographs of soldiers recovering in Leh Military Hospital were made public. On 23 June, 10 days before PM Modi’s visit, chief of army staff Gen MM Naravane had visited the hospital to meet the soldiers, and photographs of the same were shared on social media by army’s social media. Photographs and video of the visit were published by media also. In the photographs, it can be seen that it is the same room visited by PM Modi. Therefore, it can be concluded that was not staged, but soldiers injured in Galwan valley clash are indeed being treated there.

COAS Gen MM Naravane meeting injured soldiers at Leh Military Hospital on June 23

Now coming to the claim that the hospital visited by PM does not look like a hospital, that is because it is indeed a conference hall which has been converted into a hospital ward. It must be remembered that the entire world in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic, and all sorts of public facilities are being turned into makeshift hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. Hotels, hostels, ashrams, schools, and even railway coaches have been converted to coronavirus treatment facilities. Therefore, it is no surprise that a conference hall has been used to house injured soldiers, but that does not mean it is staged and fake.

Moreover, as confirmed by people who have visited Leh Military Hospital, the conference hall is actually located inside the hospital, which has been converted into a recuperation ward for mental wellbeing of the soldiers who bravely fought with Chinese intruders last month.

Now coming to lack of medical equipment like drips in the ward, not everyone admitted in a hospital need all these facilities. Moreover, soldiers are being treated for two weeks now, so it is possible that their injuries have mostly healed and that’s why they don’t have bandages etc. Former military reservist Navdeep Singh also explains lack of visible medical facilities in the ward. He says that perhaps the injuries of the soldiers in the ward were minor, but they have been kept in a relaxed and peaceful environment to recuperate from the harrowing experience of that night.

For soldiers in combat duty, physical injury is not the only concern, their mental health is also equally important. Soldiers often go through Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after getting involved in combat situations, and they need to recover from the psychological impact of the same. The soldiers seen in the photographs may be going through that period, and they may be just getting some rest while they go through the debriefing process before they join their duties.

While a large number of Congress trolls are claiming that this is a fake hospital, for some it was too much fake claim even by Congress standard. One such well known anti-BJP Twitter user requested his friends to stop claiming it was staged, conceding that this was not staged for Modi as COAS too had visited the same place 10 days ago.

It can be concluded that a fake hospital with fake soldiers was set up for photo-op with PM Modi is completely baseless allegation. They were real Indian army soldiers recovering in Leh Army Hospital’s conference hall, which was also visited by the COAS 10 days ago. The conference hall of the hospital has been converted to award for soldiers with minor injuries, but that does not mean it is staged.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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