On 12 September, Shiv Sena workers were arrested by the Mumbai Police for attacking Madan Sharma – a retired Navy officer – for forwarding a cartoon depicting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Soon after, social media was rife with claims stating that the Navy officer in question is an officer in the Merchant Navy and not the Indian Navy.
We at The Quint found that the claims are absolutely baseless and Madan Sharma has indeed served in the Indian Navy.
The viral claim which is being massively shared on Facebook and Twitter reads: “Big Breaking: New Input on Navy Veteran. Now we know that the so-called Navy Officer is from Merchant Navy”.
To support the argument, two screengrabs from a Facebook profile purportedly of Madan Sharma are also being circulated. In the profile, Madan Sharma’s profession is listed as “Merchant Navy”.
WHAT WE FOUND
We at The Quint were able to access Sharma’s Ex-Servicemen Identity Card which mentions that he was discharged from his duties on 31 October 1990.
Fact-checking website Boom reached out Madan Sharma’s son, Sunny Sharma who confirmed the veracity of the aforementioned ID card and told them that his father indeed worked in the Indian Navy from 1974 to 1990.
Sunny Sharma also confirmed to Boom that the Facebook profile in question is his father’s and was created after he joined the Merchant Navy.
Clearly, Madan Sharma worked in the Indian Navy and joined the Merchant navy after retirement.
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