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Fact check: Rajasthan, Odisha plane crash images shown as those of IAF aircraft downed by Pakistan Air Force

Composite image showing tail numbers in the two plane pictures.

Composite image showing tail numbers in the two plane pictures.   | Photo Credit: AFP

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The misleading images emerged hours after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian warplanes in its airspace.

Multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and mainstream media reports, contain photos purporting to show two Indian Air Force jets shot down by Pakistan in Kashmir. This claim is false; the images are from two separate plane crashes — one in 2016 in Rajasthan and the other in 2015 in Odisha.

The misleading images emerged hours after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian warplanes in its airspace.

This tweet by Pakistani journalist Wajahat Kazmi, published on February 27, and shared more than 700 times in four hours, contains three pictures — two showing smoking plane wreckage and one graphic image of a charred body.

Mr. Kazmi’s Twitter account has more than 400,000 followers and is verified. He describes himself as a former correspondent for national newspaper Dawn and TV network Samaa.

The tweet’s caption says: “#PakistanAirForce shoots down two Indian Air Force IAF jets in #Budgam killing one Indian pilot while arresting another one alive. More retaliation to follow soon. This escalation isn’t going to be over anytime soon - #PakistanStrikesBack #PakistanArmyZindabad #PakistanZindabad”

Fact check: Rajasthan, Odisha plane crash images shown as those of IAF aircraft downed by Pakistan Air Force
 

The same images of the burning planes have also been shared on Facebook, used in media reports about Pakistan shooting down the Indian jets, such as here, and posted on YouTube for example in this video, where it has been viewed more than 4,000 times in the hours since it was uploaded.

The two planes’ tail numbers, TU657 and A3492, are clearly visible in the pictures carried by the misleading post, as can be seen in the composite image.

The picture of the jet with the tail number TU657 is an AFP image dated August 1, 2016. Here is the photo on AFP’s Image Forum. The photo’s caption says: “Officials gather around the remains of an Indian Air Force Mig 27 fighter jet that crashed into a residential building in Jodhpur in India’s western Rajasthan state on June 13, 2016.”

An AFP photo of an Indian Air Force fighter jet that crashed in Rajasthan on June 13, 2016.

An AFP photo of an Indian Air Force fighter jet that crashed in Rajasthan on June 13, 2016.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

Indian media reports also covered the Jodhpur crash at the time and used the same AFP photo, for example in The Tribune and in NDTV.

The picture of the plane with the tail number A3492 is from a 2015 crash in Odisha. The same image is used in a report in The Hindu published on June 3, 2015 and in an Indian Express report on the same incident.

Some Indian media outlets have also debunked the misleading use of the photo, such as India TV news.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:43:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/fact-check-rajasthan-odisha-plane-crash-images-shown-as-those-of-iaf-aircraft-downed-by-pakistan-air-force/article26386305.ece

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