Fact-check: Are those worn-out feet of an Indian soldier on active duty?

“അതിർത്തി കാക്കുന്ന ഒരു പട്ടാളക്കാരന്റെ കാലുകൾ ….സല്യൂട്ട് മൈ ഇന്ത്യൻ soldiers (Translation: the legs of a soldier guarding the border… salute my Indian soldiers.)”

The above message is being shared on social media with an image that shows wrinkled feet of a man dressed in military uniform. The picture shows a condition known as Trench foot which is caused by long immersion of feet in cold water or mud.

This picture has been shared by several users on Facebook with the same claim.

This photograph has been circulating on social media since 2018. One Vishnu Prakash’s post on Facebook, with the same claim, has been shared more than 12,000 times. We have also received requests to verify the image on the Alt News app.

Fact-check

Often, the quality of an image deteriorates as it traverses the world of social media from one platform to another. The strategy to fact-check blurry images or videos is to find a clearer version of the same, one with a higher resolution. A reverse image search on Yandex led Alt News to a better quality image posted by a Reddit user. This was one of the earliest instances of the image uploaded on the internet that Alt News could find.

😬 from USMC

In this image, the tag ‘US Marine’ embroidered above the left breast pocket is clearly visible.

Alt News compared the viral image with several other images available on the official website of the United States Marine Corps for further corroboration and found that the uniform is identical to that of the US Marines. Thus we were able to conclude that the person in the image is wearing the uniform of a US Marine and is not an Indian army soldier. 

Similar misinformation has been circulated in the past. BJP MP Kirron Kher had posted an image of Russian army soldiers as Indian army men. Earlier this year, a still from a winter surfing video from Michigan, USA was viral as an Indian army soldier on duty in extremely cold weather.

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