Reports of Indian Army’s Cross-border operation to avenge Uri attack are rumors, thus far   

SHIMLA- On Monday #MakePakPay was trending on social media and rhetoric started in India after terrorist attack in Uri in Jammu & Kashmir, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed, enraged Indian masses. The debates mostly echoed with appeals of avenging killing of Indian soldiers by retaliating, launching an attack on Pakistan.

The anger is well understood. It’s not the first time terrorists have taken lives of Indian soldiers. There is history of terrorist attacks and infiltration. Himachal Pradesh also witnessed protests against Pakistan as out of 20 injured soldiers, 4 belonged to Himachal.

While families of killed soldiers are grieving for their loss, some politically motivated or ‘pageview hungry’ predator are feeding on sentiments of Indians. On mainstream TV news channels, too, a steady drumbeat calling for war gained momentum, reaching a crescendo of sorts in primetime.

Suddenly, a report published in online magazine ‘The Quint’ claimed, “Exclusive: Uri Avenged As Spl Forces Cross LoC, Kill 20 Terrorists”.

“At least 20 terrorists have been neutralised in a daring cross-LoC operation by the Indian Army in response to the Uri attack. Two units of the elite 2 Paras comprising 18-20 soldiers flew across the LoC in the Uri sector in military helicopters and carried out an operation that killed at least 20 suspected terrorists across three terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK),” it further elaborated.

Some unverified blogs like Dolphin Post had already began to claim that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave green light for cross-border operation and that Indian army was given complete liberty to erase enemies. There is a whole lot of such spammers that have popped up online and have no concern about ethics of journalism or belief in facts.

Indian army cross border

Many other similar blogs have now picked up report from “The Quint” and started fueling it on social media.

However, in a statement published in Times of India, Indian Army clearly denied reports of any such cross-border operation.

“Army sources denied reports in a web magazine on Wednesday that Indian forces had crossed over the Line of Control near Uri and eliminated 20 terrorists,” said Times of India

However, the magazine has not stepped down and claimed multiple confirmation of its report from different, but verified sources including those in Indian Army.

Indeed, Indian Army has not confirmed any such operation. But a bunch of predators on Social Media are trying to create a perception that Indian Prime Minister has done it: avenged killing of Indian soldiers.

Common public is either swept away by this wave of claimed rumors or are asking themselves, “Could India and Pakistan really go to war?”

After all, both countries have long been nuclear powers — a deterrent that encompasses the lives of a combined 1.4 billion people.  Moreover, Pakistan is, like always, denying any role in the attack.

But here the debate is about reliability of online sources. While a section of social media users or Internet users have learnt to verify news they read on some blogs, majority of Internet users in India is still lack exposure to means of verifying such news.

A simple tip to verify news is that you should Google it and only believe it when it is marked by verified news Agencies or is published in multiple established sources. Such news can’t go unnoticed by mainstream dailies and TV channels, which also maintain highly active presence on Internet too.

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