Two pictures are viral on social media. While the first shows a group of girls pelting stones, the other shows children holding the Indian national flag. The photos are being shared together to show the difference in the situation in Kashmir under the Congress vs the BJP regimes respectively. Below is a tweet by BJP UP leader OP Mishra.
कांग्रेस का कश्मीर भाजपा का कश्मीर pic.twitter.com/SfSF90YxDm
— CA O P Mishra (@caopmishra) July 14, 2021
Both images are from BJP’s time
For the first image, we performed a reverse image search on Google and came across an article, published in 2017 by The Washington Post where the same picture has been used.
The outlet gives credit to Farooq Khan and the European Pressphoto Agency for the photo.
We looked at the website of the European Pressphoto Agency and found the original image uploaded on April 24, 2017.
Its description states, “The region is witnessing student’s protest since 15 April 2017, when Indian security forces raided a college in Pulwama during which over four dozen students were injured.” More photos from the same protest are available on the website.
The BJP and the PDP had a coalition government in J&K from March 2015 till June 2018. At the same time, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been at the centre since 2014.
Therefore, it is clear that the viral picture was not taken during Congress rule, but three years after the BJP came to power at the centre.
For the second image, we couldn’t find any credible sources, other than a website that claims that the photo was taken during the 2021 Republic Day celebrations.
Some of the children in the picture are seen wearing masks, this hints that the image could be recent. Upon close observation, we noticed that the building behind the children has some words written on the hoarding. While we could make out “GOODWILL”, a part of another word is legible. It reads “PORA”. Readers are requested to open the image in a new tab and zoom in to see for themselves.
Below we have added the photo, highlighting the observations as mentioned above.
Taking all the clues, we tried to gather further information regarding this building. We performed a keyword search on Google which showed us results related to Army Goodwill Schools.
Alt News spoke with one of the employees of the school who wishes to remain anonymous. They positively identified the location in the photo as the Army Goodwill School in Bandipora and confirmed that the photo was taken during the preparation for the 2021 Republic Day celebrations. When asked whether such celebrations were done prior to 2014, they replied that they’ve been “celebrating national days since 2004”. The school was established in 2004.
The Army Goodwill Schools are a chain of schools run by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2020, speaking to News18, Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said that the Goodwill Schools in Kashmir are ‘Preventive Radicalisation Camps’.
Hence, a set of photos were shared to show the change in the situation in Kashmir during the Congress rule vs the BJP rule respectively. But both photos were taken when the BJP government was at power.