On Sunday (May 23), the Indian army debunked misleading claims by The Hindu newspaper about a ‘minor face-off’ with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Galwan valley.
The article in question was published on Sunday and was authored by journalist Vijita Singh. Titled, “Minor face-off with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley,” it claimed that the incident took place in the first week of May this year. The Hindu cited a ‘senior government official’ to substantiate its claims. It further added that there was ‘no clash’ and that both the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA quickly disengaged.
The English daily alleged that the ‘minor faceoff’ occurred near the Y-junction of the Galwan valley, where a no-patrolling zone of 3 kilometers (1.5km on each side) was created. Citing its ‘sources’, the Hindu claimed that the faceoff took place when both the Indian and Chinese patrols reached the no-patrolling zone to check whether the other side had crossed the line. The newspaper said that it was at that point, the two sides engaged in a minor faceoff.
As per the report, the unnamed ‘senior government official’ alleged that the Chinese side had camps beyond the non-patrolling zones and that it has not reduced its troop deployment since 2020. He claimed that both sides sent patrols periodically ‘out of suspicion’ of the other. The official concluded, “There has been no reduction in the number of troops on either side. China is currently doing some exercise so they have enhanced their presence along the LAC. There was some talk to pull back Indian troops to deploy them on COVID-19 duty. However, that was later ruled out.”
Indian Army rubbishes claims by The Hindu, calls out attempts to derail ongoing mediation with China
Hours after the contentious report was published by The Hindu newspaper, the official Twitter handle of the Indian Army (@adgpi) debunked the misleading claims. In a Twitter thread, it said, “An article titled “Minor face-off with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley” published in The Hindu on 23 May 2021 has been taken note of. It is clarified that NO such minor face-off has taken place between Indian and Chinese troops at #Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh in the first week of May 2021 as reported.”
It is clarified that NO such minor face-off has taken place between Indian and Chinese troops at #Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh in the first week of May 2021 as reported. (2/4)— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) May 23, 2021
“The article seems to be inspired by sources who may be trying to derail the ongoing process for early resolution of issues in Eastern Ladakh,” the Indian army emphasised. It further cautioned, “Media professionals are requested to clarify actual versions/positions on incidents involving the Indian Army from authorised sources in the Indian Army and not base reports on un-corroborated inputs from third parties.”
#Media professionals are requested to clarify actual versions/positions on incidents involving the Indian Army from authorised sources in the #IndianArmy and not base reports on un-corroborated inputs from third parties. (4/4)#IndianArmy#StrongAndCapable— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) May 23, 2021
The Hindu spreads fake news about China occupying new regions in Pangong Tso
In October last year, the Hindu had claimed that Chinese forces have occupied the finger 2 and finger 3 regions on the north bank of Pangong Tso lake. Quoting former MP Thupstan Chhewang, the newspaper had published a report saying that Chinese troops have further transgressed into Indian territory and occupied new positions on the bank of Pangong Tso.
But the claims of Chhewang reported by The Hindu were also rejected by Army officials. Reacting to the news, Retired Lieutenant General Satish Dua said that it was fake news. He confirmed that there were no civilians living in the area, therefore the civilians quoted in the report were incorrect. A tweet by PIB Fact Check also said that the claims made in the report were false.