Even as the country is mourning and the people are united against the enemy, there has been a rise in fake news being circulated by some journalists and media houses. It seems to be serving exactly what the Pakistan and the terror groups have all along wanted. Obviously, Pakistan and the terror group don’t want India to be united at this moment, and all the fake news falsely arguing that the fault lies with India, serves the same purpose. The fake news about CRPF being denied the air transit by the government is one such example. While the Prime Minister of the country has asserted that the army has been given a free hand to deal with Pakistan-based terror presenting a strong and united stand, the fake news factory falsely presents a picture of a divided India.
Fake News Spread by The Quint
The Quint has published a story claiming that the convoy that was attacked had asked the government for air transit, a demand that was ignored.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has denied any such occurrence in a press statement. Still, the report which quotes anonymous source, falsely maintains that MHA has not given any specific response to their query. Therefore, The Quint chose to further spread this fake news.
Here is MHA’s clarification on the issue.
MHA: Reports that appeared in a section of media that air transit facility on Jammu- Srinagar sector for CRPF troops was not allowed are untrue. pic.twitter.com/q1rddMB4i3
— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2019
Another Sample of Fake News on the Same Issue
Here is how an editor with Asia Times had weaved a misguiding narrative on the same issue on the basis of an official communication. This communication had dealt with BSF and not CRPF at all. Still Asia Times had linked this to the recent Pulwama attack, putting forth the same argument that the CRPF convoy was denied an air transit. In the below snapshot, you can see how the letter mentions BSF and the story links it to CRPF.
The Facts about Forces’ Air Transit
Some social media users have also highlighted the fact that the use of MI-17 choppers in moving big convoy which is 2500-strong, is too limited. The MHA response also makes many things clear. Based on the media reports, here is the gist of that response in relevant points.
- Reports appearing in a section of the media that air transit facility in the Jammu-Srinagar sector for CRPF troops has not been allowed, is untrue.
- MHA has significantly enhanced air courier services for CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) in recent years.
- In December 2017 at the request of CAPFs, air services were extended to the Delhi-Jammu- Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector with seven flights a week.
- In December 2018, the ministry had approved enhancement of air support by increasing number of routes. In the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector.
- In addition, air support is provided by the Indian Air Force as and when required. Several sorties were run for the CRPF in January 2019.
- Nevertheless, the movement of convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons has been and will continue to be necessary. This is also the case with the army.