Kerala flood: Fake video impersonates Armyman, RSS shares 2012 photos as new
While the death toll in Kerala floods has risen up to 400, and over 7 lakh people have been shifted to relief camps, the state has another unwanted task at hand - to tackle fake news
On Sunday, the Additional Directorate General of Public Information issued a warning against an imposter wearing Army combat uniform in a video spreading misinformation about rescue efforts underway in the southern state. In a tweet, The ADG PI appealed to the public to forward disinformation about the Indian Army to their Whatsapp number.
"Imposter wearing Army combat uniform in video spreading disinformation about rescue & relief efforts. Every effort by all & #IndianArmy aimed to overcome this terrifying human tragedy. Forward disinformation about #IndianArmy on WhatsApp +917290028579. We are at it," the tweet reads.
In the video which has gone viral, a man in an army uniform claims that the Kerala government was mistreating the Army. "I am addressing the Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Why do you have so much animosity towards the Indian Army? Is it because your minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan doesn't want the Army to come to your state?" the man says in the video in Malayalam, according to News18. The man said that 'thousands are stranded in Chengannur' and asks the government to let them do their job. "Just let us come and do our work. We will not take over your state. Don't be scared," the man says in the video.
The two-minute thirty-second video was shared on Saturday on a Facebook page called the Bharatiya Mahila Morcha Thalaserry Mandalam and was shared close to 28,000 times, according to The Hindu.
According to an article in AltNews, a series of images along with a donation appeal was shared by the official RSS Facebook page with the claim that the people in the images were Seva Bharati workers aiding Kerala flood victims. One of the images shared as part of this group shows a news reporter with group of people standing in the background including a few wearing khakhi shorts resembling the old RSS uniform.
The image posted by RSS is not of the 2018 Kerala floods and was of 2012 floods in the state. The reporter in the image had shared the image that same year.
However, this isn’t the only old image shared with a false narrative.
More fake images of RSS workers providing aid and relief to flood hit Kerala was widely spread on social media with the caption, “Looks like Kerela couldn’t kill all of those RSS Terrorists. Few of them are still alive and are looting the poor flood-struck Keralites.”
These images were shared 1500 times, with BJP MLA from Karnataka C.T. Ravi one of them.
As per the same news report in AltNews, these images are actually from Gujarat last year and not Kerala. A twitter user going by the name SM Hoax Slayer found identical images being circulated of RSS workers providing aid during Gujarat flood in August 2017.
Unrelated images have been attributed to RSS number of times in the past. In 2015, images of RSS workers in Gujarat was shared as them providing aid during the Nepal earthquake.
Further, the official Twitter handle of RSS had also denied the claim of 20,000 RSS workers having reached Nepal.