On Wednesday, television channels were abuzz with 'news' that India has sent a tough message to Pakistan army's barbaric act of mutilating Indian jawans' bodies by killing some Pakistani soldiers in return.
Aaj Tak, which seems to be the first that carried the news, reported that two posts namely Kirpan and Pimple were destroyed in retaliation.
Turns out it was false.
A Hindustan Times report carried a response by the Army and the latter has dismissed reports that India destroyed Pakistani bunkers and killed “several enemy” soldiers across the border in Jammu and Kashmir in a retaliatory attack.
The report quotes a 'senior officer with the army’s northern command' saying, “There was no retaliation whatsoever by us in the KG sector on Monday night. They (TV channels) go ballistic without asking us anything. We will retaliate and when we do, we will come out with an official statement.”
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday, too came forward to put rest to such rumours and said the armed forces will effectively respond to such actions by the neighbouring country.
"We do not talk about future plans beforehand. We share details after execution of the plan," Gen Rawat said, refusing to elaborate further. Pressed further, he said "When this kind of action takes place, we also carry out retaliatory action".
A Twitter user highlighted how the irresponsible fake news spread like wildfire:
Making of a "nationalist" chest-thumping moment based on unverified facts. Thread 👇 1/n— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
Aaj Tak brought us the BREAKING news of India's retaliation to mutilation of its soldiers 2/n pic.twitter.com/4g2Q0t3MlY— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
They continued to drum it up. "Karara Jawab", "2 ke badle 7" "poora hisaab baki hai", etc... Retaliation was BIG news. 3/n pic.twitter.com/XPp0ZANS73— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
Soon other usual suspects pick it up. Zee, India TV, ABP... Badla Lo, India Retaliates hashtags began trending. Army had a "free hand" 4/n pic.twitter.com/KyVSjQ4P7U— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
It turned into a big chest thumping moment. How dare anyone question "my PM". This was not even the beginning of India's real response 5/n pic.twitter.com/9s3muET0NC— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
Whatsapp groups went crazy with excitement, online portals spiced up the news. Some even told us how it's not 1st time India retaliated 6/n pic.twitter.com/O2dOqkhFJY— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
India Today also carried the story. By now even the skeptics started to believe in it. 7/n pic.twitter.com/r6X0m7Wlpv— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
A few doubts began to arise. Other media & the govt were silent. No word from army also. Oh! And Kirpan wasn't a Pakistani post. 8/n pic.twitter.com/DBruhs3ZlJ— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
But then BJP's spokie SambitPatra came on TV, repeating the story. He couldn't be bluffing. Or could he be? 9/n pic.twitter.com/GxbXhdB95z— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
THEN the inevitable happened. Army denied any retaliation over mutilation. Accused TV channels of going ballistic w/o confirming 10/n pic.twitter.com/8OFv5itvdR— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 4, 2017
Indians have been outraging against the mutilation of bodies of two Army officers - Naib subedar Paramjit Singh, a 42-year-old junior commissioned officer with 22 Sikh Regiment, and constable Prem Sagar, 45, of the BSF’s 200 Battalion - in an ambush on a border patrol at the Krishna Ghati sector of Kashmir’s Poonch district.
Finance and Defense minister Arun Jaitley has called it an inhumane act and said that India will respond appropriately to the gruesome act.