“If it’s a mistake by the ministry, we will apologise,” is what Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi reportedly said upon being informed about the gaffe in the annual report released by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) where in a picture of Spain-Morocco border has been used to show Indian border floodlighting. Alt News reached out to the photographer who had originally taken this photo in 2006 and uploaded on the website Panoramio.
Javier Moyano in an email to Alt News has confirmed that the image was indeed shot by him on the border between Ceuta and Morocco in North Africa. Ceuta is an Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar and sharing a 6.4 km land border with Morocco. Moyano has additionally stated that Government of India has not respected the copyright.
Moyano’s clarification should end the debate as to whether it was a mistake or not on the part of Ministry of Home Affairs. Hopefully, the MHA ordered investigation will reveal in quick time as to who was responsible for this major slip-up. Just yesterday, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had used an image from Amnesty International India’s report on human rights violation by Coal India to boast about their achievements. Government of India must do their due diligence to ensure that such slip-ups do not happen in the future and the copyright of work by individual photographers is honoured.
Alt News story which revealed the misuse of Moyano’s picture can be read here.