By: Ankita Kulkarni
April 28 2023
A set of old images showing the aftermath of attacks by Maoists in India between 2013 and 2019 has been misattributed to the recent Dantewada blast.
On April 26, 2023, ten jawans from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and their civilian driver were killed after a set of IEDs (Improvised explosive devices) planted by Maoists exploded in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district. Following the incident, several images started circulating on social media claiming to show the attack's aftermath. However, some of them in the posts date back to at least 2013 and are unrelated to the recent attack in Chhattisgarh.
Logically Facts could observe seven unrelated images that were being shared from various Twitter accounts. We ran the photos through Google reverse image search for more details
First, an image shows a group of soldiers with guns hanging on their backs and carrying corpses on a stretcher. We found the same picture in a report published by Frontline magazine (run by The Hindu media house) on June 12, 2013. The caption read: "Security forces personnel carry a body from the site of Maoist ambush of May 25." The report discusses the 2013 Jheeram Ghati Naxal attack and the war between the Chhattisgarh state security forces and Maoists.
The second image shows the remains of a damaged vehicle and officials standing around it. The picture was first published by AP News on August 27, 2013. The image description noted that it shows Indian paramilitary soldiers standing surrounding the damaged vehicle, which was bombed by Maoist rebels in the Koraput district in Odisha state. The incident had left at least five dead and two wounded.
The third image shows the wrinkled feet of a person wearing a military uniform. Sharing the image, a Twitter user claimed that the photo shows the condition of police who were deployed in the "Naxal area" of Dantewada. However, the image has been circulating since 2018 and shows a person wearing the U.S. marine uniform. The uniform can be found on the official website of the United States Marine Corps. The U.S army has never been deployed anywhere in India and hence, the image is misattributed.
The fourth image shows an open area and several officials inspecting a damaged vehicle. The image dates back to 2018 and can be found in a report published by the Indian Express on March 14, 2018. The caption read: "Security personnel inspect the site of an IED blast in Kistaram area of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Tuesday." The report said that nine CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel were killed and two were critically injured in the Kistaram area of Sukma after a Maoist attack.
The fifth picture shows the remains of a damaged car and an ambulance in the background. The same image can be found in an article published by The Indian Express on April 10, 2019. The report notes that a Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) convoy was targeted by Maoists, which resulted in the killing of BJP's Dantewada MLA Bhima Mandavi and four others traveling with him.
The sixth image shows the remains of a damaged minibus that was destroyed after an IED blast in Dantewada on November 11, 2018. An article by The Times of India carrying the exact image reported that BSF (Border Security Forces) jawans were killed in an IED blast by Maoists near Chattisgarh's Kanker district after the first phase of assembly elections in 2018.
The seventh image shows scattered pieces of a bombed vehicle, first shared by ANI News agency on Twitter and dates back to May 1, 2019. It states, "10 security personnel injured in an IED blast by Naxals in Gadchiroli. The blast was executed by Naxals on a police vehicle which was carrying 16 security personnel in Maharastra."
Therefore, all this evidence proves that none of these images shared in the recent Twitter posts are from the latest Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh.
Images from various attacks that were executed by Maoists from 2013 to 2019 are falsely being shared as photos from the recent attack in Dantewada that left 11 people dead. Therefore, we mark this claim false.