‘Avoid lies’: Indian Army cautions against fake news on social media amid protests over citizenship bill
The Indian military issued a warning about fake news spreading online amid ongoing CAB legislation protests. Earlier, a viral video showing police purportedly shooting at protesters in Assam was branded as fake by local media.
The Indian Army tweeted on Saturday that people should avoid “lies and propaganda being spread on social media by harmful elements,” as troops were redeployed to the state of Assam, which is engulfed in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
New Delhi says the CAB is necessary to protect persecuted minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan – Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain, and Parsis. But it does not include Muslims in the six religious groups – a fact that prompted Muslims in Assam to voice their anger.
Fact checkers have already debunked a viral video which claimed to show Indian forces firing on a group of unarmed anti-CAB protesters in Assam. According to the Indian Alt news website, which did the fact-checking, the clip actually originates from 2017, and depicts a mock drill conducted by police in India’s Jharkhand state.
Local media citing police reported that security forces opened fire on Thursday, as protests in Assam turned violent. There were also reports citing medics about at least two killed and several injured.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have defended the CAB as much-needed legislation designed to shelter groups that face religious persecution in their home countries.
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