158 Soldiers Killed in Sikkim? Old ‘Fake News’ Makes a Comeback!

As tensions escalate between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a picture which shows burning trucks is being circulated on social media with the claim that 158 security forces personnel have been killed by Chinese troops in Sikkim.

However, the picture is old and was circulated back in 2017, at the time of the Doklam stand-off, with the same claim. The Indian and the Chinese governments had refuted the claim back then as well.

CLAIM

The claim shared along with the picture reads, “#158 Security Forces of India got killed in Disastrous Rocket Launcher attack by China in Sikkim. #IndianMediaHidingThisNews (sic).”

A Facebook page called ‘GS Green’ out up the post which was shared over 2,000 times at the time of writing the story.

An archived version of the post can be found here.
An archived version can be found here.
An archived version can be found here.

Also Read: China’s Ladakh Incursion: Is It All About the PLA & Coronavirus? 

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On conducting a reverse image search on the images attached with the post, we came across an article on NationClip which was published nearly three years ago. The article carried a flipped version of the same image and also carried the same information about killing of 158 soldiers. This information was attributed to Dunya News, a Pakistan-based TV news channel.

Comparison to show that the viral image is a flipped version of the old image. 

Taking a cue from here, we ran a keyword search ‘158 soldiers killed in Sikkim’ and came across various news reports from July 2017, in which the Indian and Chinese governments had rejected this news report.

The Quint, too, had carried the news story.

Screenshot of the news report. 

India had termed the report as “utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous” back then.

Though The Quint has not been able independently to verify the authenticity and the whereabouts of the picture, the fact that it existed back in 2017 makes it evident that it doesn’t show the current situation along the LAC.

Also Read: Decoding India-China Stand-Off and the Way Forward

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