On Friday (January 7), a propaganda Twitter handle of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted a doctored video to claim that the Indian government is planning to remove Sikhs from the Indian army. The development comes amidst the ongoing conflict between the Centre and the Punjab government over PM Modi’s Security Breach on January 5 this year.
The Twitter handle (@heyanjaliii), which goes by the name of Anjali Kaur, had claimed, “Cabinet Committee on Security Meeting Minister Anurag Thakur, S Jaishankar calls for removal of Sikhs from the Indian army.” The said account was created in October last year and has about 987 followers at the time of writing. In the video, someone was heard advocating removing all Punjabis from Indian Army. ‘All generals, all soldiers, remove all of them from top to bottom’, the male voice can be heard saying.
However, it is a doctored video, because the audio from a different source was added to the visuals of the cabinet meeting, and it was not said during the meeting.
The propaganda handle used visuals from a Union Cabinet meeting and superimposed an audio Transcript from a Clubhouse discussion. It was pointed out by several social media users on Twitter.
Check this propaganda handle -most probably that of ISPR https://t.co/qxn4MlwmM5
— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) January 7, 2022
Reportedly, the audio belongs to one Vikas Dubey, who had called for the removal of Punjabis from the Indian army during a Clubhouse discussion over alleged bragging by community members. The audio clip was already being shared on social media slamming the suggestion by many people. But the Pakistanis went ahead and added it to a Cabinet Committee of Security meeting to make baseless allegations against Modi government.
Journalist Shiv Aroor dismissed the doctored video as ‘laughable’. He wrote, “Laughable fake rubbish in the form of morphed audio doing the rounds by bots. Wouldn’t normally need to call out such obvious crap, but when the ‘Khali-Pindi Desk’ is in overdrive, must step in.”
Laughable fake rubbish in the form of morphed audio doing the rounds by bots. Wouldn’t normally need to call out such obvious crap, but when the ‘Khali-Pindi Desk’ is in overdrive, must step in. @PunjabPoliceInd @adgpi @NIA_India https://t.co/JpdsbZ9BZ9 pic.twitter.com/LZRB9CHDSM
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) January 7, 2022
The original video dates back to December 9 last year, during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level Cabinet Committee meeting in the aftermath of the death of CDS General Bipin Rawat.
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) December 9, 2021
The official handle of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) had also debunked the claims made by the fake handle. “A tweet referring to a viral video claim that in a #Cabinet Committee meeting on Security, there was a call for the removal of Sikhs from the Indian Army. The claim is fake. No such discussion/meeting has taken place.”
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) January 7, 2022
Bollywood actor Ranvir Shorey pointed out how the anti-India propaganda was being disseminated by the use of identical, sock puppet accounts. He tweeted, “Go through the TL of this handle @heyanjaliii to get a taste of how propaganda wars are unleashed by enemies of #India, within and outside. A pathetic and dangerous doctored video, that many gullible people will fall for. Please report all these accounts.”
— Ranvir Shorey (@RanvirShorey) January 7, 2022
Shorey also pointed out how the accounts, retweeting the contentious tweet by the ISPR bot, was were identical in nature and even had the same Twitter bio.
Sajid Yousuf shah lawyer, Ceo The Real Kashmir News Itv pointed out how the anti-India propaganda was being disseminated by the use of identical, sock puppet accounts. He tweeted, Many fake accounts are amplifying morphed video of a cabinet meeting claim that the Government is planning to remove Sikhs from Indian Army.
Fake News Alert 🚨
Many fake accounts are amplifying morphed video of a cabinet meeting claim that the Government is planning to remove Sikhs from Indian Army.
PS: Don't fall into the trap, this trend has been started by the people sitting across the border.
— Sajid Yousuf Shah (@TheSkandar) January 7, 2022
(with inputs from OpIndia)