At least 20 Indian army soldiers were martyred on the night of June 15 during clashes with the Chinese army in Galwan Valley, Ladakh. On June 17, “the Indian army confirmed that 17 of those who died were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain,” reported BBC. The next day, China released 10 Indian soldiers in their custody.

A Twitter user Eva Zheng 郑怡斌 عائشة (@evazhengll) claiming to be a Chinese national shared a video of hyperbaric oxygen treatment given to soldiers. The user claimed that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) suffered zero deaths and five injuries because Chinese soldiers were saved with this treatment. She further stated that 10 Indian troops were assisted with “hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber in a PLA post”. The user added that 17 Indian soldiers, who were left overnight without oxygen in sub-zero temperature, lost their lives in delayed rescue efforts.

The video hyperbaric oxygen therapy given to soldiers was quote-tweeted by journalists Swati Chaturvedi and Michael Safi who suggested that China has issued a casualty toll.

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Several other users have also shared the video claiming that China has released the death toll suffered after clashes with India.

Video from 2017

A reverse-image search of the keyframes of the video did not yield relevant results. Alt News saved a screenshot of the video on Google docs to extract the Chinese text. A subsequent search of the text on Google led us to the video uploaded on Chinese video-sharing website bilibili.com on February 14, 2017. The video carries the logo of Chinese state-owned broadcaster CNTV.

Shekhar Gupta, ThePrint founder, tweeted about the video saying that a “known psywar handle” posted a false claim about low PLA casualties at Galwan Valley “with a staged Feb video of some soldiers in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber claiming these are Indian captives being tended”. Gupta did not specify that the video is from 2017.

Michael Safi who had shared the video suggesting that China has issued its casualty toll posted a clarification tweet. “This is not from a Chinese official, but a propaganda account. Figures can’t be trusted. But still first numbers to emerge from Chinese side,” he wrote.

Swati Chaturvedi quote-tweeted Safi and wrote that she echoes his statement.

As of this writing, there has been no response from the Chinese government on the question of either the death toll or injuries suffered by PLA officers. China has a history of not disclosing casualty figures publicly at the time of conflict. Quoting “sources” ANI had claimed that the Chinese have suffered 43 casualties, injured and dead. Another figure of 35 casualties was floating on social media and the media after a website called usnews.com quoted “US intelligence sources”.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.