By: Soumadip Dey
Claim: A series of pictures of a bruised woman has been shared on social media with the claim that she is from Kashmir, and her injuries were inflicted by the Indian army.
Source: Facebook and Twitter.
What Happened: A set of pictures have been shared on Twitter with the claim that Indian Army is assaulting and torturing women in Kashmir. The pictures show the face of a bruised woman, and they have been shared with the claim that the woman was tortured by the Indian army during a CASO (Cordon and Search Operation).
The images have been shared on Twitter with the following caption:
‘How they are ruining the dignity of our mothers sisters and daughters. They have beaten her ruthlessly . Her face shows the signs of brutality . Her face express the helplessness. SHOPIAN during CASO . KASHMIR
The graphic images have been shared by multiple Twitter users with the same narrative. One of the tweets has already been retweeted over a hundred times, contributing to the rapid spread of this narrative on social media.
The same set of images have also been shared on Facebook with the caption:
The same person has shared this picture narrative in various Facebook groups related to Kashmir. The post has received over 2.1k shares at the time of writing this article.
Facts: This narrative claiming that a woman had been tortured in Kashmir by the Indian Army is completely false. The image is not of a woman from Kashmir, but is in fact a Pashto actress named Neelam Gul, and she had uploaded a video of herself in this condition after being assaulted by her husband in a domestic violence case.
The videos and pictures are from August, 2018, and was widely used by news portals in Pakistan. Judging by some of the coverage of the incident, it was quite a widespread and sensational story there when it happened.
Conclusion: Kashmir is an extremely sensitive topic in India, and hence is subject to a good deal of political propaganda, especially against the Indian army and its operations there. These false and weaponized propaganda narratives are used by perpetrators with a political agenda to circulate disinformation on social media. It can work both ways, while these posts were aimed at denigrating the Indian Army, Metafact also recently debunked a false video that claimed an Indian soldier was beaten to death by a mob in Kashmir.