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Thursday, October 22, 2020

New Year fake news has General Rawat in cross-hairs, PIB rushes with denial

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The fake letter coincides with General Bipin Rawat’s elevation as India’s first CDS, with an aim to achieve greater efficiencies and synchronization between the three armed forces, in all spheres including recruitment, training and operation.

The government of India’s press information bureau has busted a fake letter being circulated and passed off on social media as the one written by India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, on the New Year’s Day.

The letter carrying General Rawat’s photograph and the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) insignia starts by wishing a happy New Year to all the rank and file of India’s Army and their families and goes on to list its achievements in 2019 before controversially claiming that the Indian Army did a better job of securing the country’s frontiers in comparison to the other two arms of India’s military, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. The letter concludes by saying that the undersigned (General Rawat) would like to run the navy and the air force “on our Army lines” so that they can “also give good results”.

The PIB posted the letter on its fact check twitter handle and put a big red stamp screaming “FAKE” on it.

“A purported letter from Gen. #BipinRawat is circulating on social media. #PIBFactCheck: No such letter has been written by him. The letter is fake and morphed,” said the accompanying tweet by the PIB fact-check twitter handle.

The @PIBFactCheck Twitter handle aims to counter “misinformation on government/policy/schemes” and invites social media users to post a snapshot of the “dubious” material to either PIB FactCheck WhatsApp hotline no – +91 8799711259 or email it to pibfactcheck@gmail.com.

The fake letter coincides with General Bipin Rawat’s elevation yesterday as India’s first CDS, with an aim to achieve greater efficiencies and synchronization between the three armed forces, in all spheres including recruitment, training and operation.

On the last day of year 2018, the PIB FactCheck Twitter handle had dismissed photoshopped newspaper clipping claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced changes in the “pattern of the IAS (Indian Administrative Services) exam” as fake. The website also revealed that a picture purported to be from “a detention camp” in India was actually not from India.

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