Several personnel on both sides of the border were reported injured in the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on December 9 in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. After the news came to light on December 12, many leaders of the opposition questioned the government’s attitude on matters of national security. They alleged that there was an attempt to keep such a significant development under wraps.

Against this backdrop, Union minister and BJP MP from Arunachal (West) Kiren Rijiju tweeted a picture posing with Indian Army soldiers. The accompanying caption read, ‘Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army.’

Several media outlets carried this image, claiming that the Union minister had visited the Yangtze region in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, to meet Indian troops following the December 9 Indo-Chinese skirmish.

India Today Group’s Hindi channel Aaj Tak aired the picture in a news bulletin, claiming that Rijiju was the first to reach Tawang after the clash.

Zee News also made the same claim while promoting the visual in one of its programmes.

Times Now also ran this picture with the same claim suggesting that this is an imagoe of the current visit.

Right wing propaganda website OpIndia also tweeted the image shared by Rijiju in a story with a headline that says ‘Rijiju visits Yangtse’.

NDTV used the picture in its report calling it photos from fully secured Tawang thereby suggesting that this is a recent capture.

A number of media outlets, including India Today, InKhabar, ETV Bharat, Navbharat Times, News24, Jagran, ABP News, TV9 Bharatvarsh, NewsTrack, East Mojo, India TV, and India’s public news service division – All India Radio, promoted the image with the misleading claim.

Fact Check

Alt News noticed that several Twitter users replied to the minister’s tweet in question, pointing out that this was an old photo. Among them was Congress leader Supriya Shrinate, who tweeted a screenshot in response and wrote, “You shouldn’t have included a photo from 2019.” The screenshot clearly shows that Rijiju had tweeted the same image on October 29, 2019.

On searching Twitter, we found that Rijiju had indeed shared the same photo on October 29, 2019. In this tweet, he wrote that he was celebrating the auspicious occasion of Diwali with the Arunachal Scouts of the Indian Army. It is worth noting that in 2019, Diwali fell on October 28 and 29.

To sum it up, it is clear that Union minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted a three-year-old picture falsely linking it to the recent skirmish in the Yangtze region of Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The photo was carried by a number of media outlets without verification, who claimed that the photo was taken after the recent clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on December 9. Alt News can’t independently confirm whether the Union minister visited Tawang after the December 9 clash.


[The claim section of this story was updated on 22.12.2022]

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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).