An image showing five women seated under a tree, behind a canvassing desk, and holding up a placard that reads ‘No road on Indo China Border’ has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, claiming that the NGO ‘Citizens for Green Doon’ has filed a plea demanding the road construction on the Indo-China border be stopped. A fact check by Newschecker has found that the image has been manipulated and the claim is false.
Twitter handle @KreatelyMedia was among several users who tweeted the image claiming that the NGO has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to stop the construction of a road on the Indo-China border. The tweet had received 979 retweets and 1700 likes, at the time of writing this article
The post by @KreatelyMedia also claims that the NGOs lawyer ‘Coulin Gonzales’ (Colin Gonsalves) & an one Md Aftab have said that “Army can use airways during the times of war”.
Archived link to the tweet can be found here
Many other users also posted the claim on twitter without reposting the associated image.
The claim could also be seen widely shared on Facebook by users.
One of the viral post also carries the logo of ‘Post Card’ the Facebook page that was previously called out by Newschecker for spreading false information on the alleged arrest of Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla. The fact check done on this by Newschecker can be read here. This post has received 96 reactions and 26 shares and has also been widely shared by many other Facebook users.
One such repost by Facebook page ‘Indian With Modi’ has received the maximum interactions with 1700 reactions, 311 comments and 934 reshares on it’s post.
To check the veracity of the claim, Newschecker carried out a keyword search on Facebook, which took us to the Facebook group of the NGO ‘Citizens for Green Doon.’ The NGO (seen below) has used the same image as its cover picture. But the message on the placard reads ‘Join CFGD’ on the cover image and not ‘No Road on Indo China border’ as is seen in the viral image. On comparing the two images, one finds that the placard in the viral social media post is morphed.
The images above on the left shows the Screenshot Facebook page ‘Citizens for Green Doon’ and the image on the right shows the Screenshot of the viral image.
Newschecker reached out to the NGO ‘Citizens for Green Doon’, who clarified that the claim circulating on social media was not true. “The image in question has been tampered with. The genuine picture was taken at DAV Karanpur in April 2021. It shows the group with a placard stating ‘join CFGD’.” sources in the NGO confirmed.
Analysing the viral post further, it claims that NGO opposed the construction of the Char Dham road on the Indo-China border. Many media outlets- like Hindustan Times, The Tribune and Times of India– have published reports about the said petition filed by the NGO.
The reports confirm that the petition filed by the NGO seeks to restrict the width of the Char Dham road to 5.5 meters in compliance with a 2018 circular of the Roads and Highways Ministry as reported by The Hindu.
The NGO is not opposing the Char Dham road construction project but is against the width of the road being increased from 5.5 meters to 10 meters. The point of contention comes from the Roads and Highways Ministry amending its 2018 circular on width of roads in hilly and mountainous terrains in 2020. The revised circular effectively made the width 10 meters as opposed to 5.5 meters as stated in the 2018 circular.
The NGO claims that it has been opposing this increase in width on grounds of ecological reasons.
“CFGD is NOT against construction of border roads nor is it anti national. We are for sustainable, motorable and scientifically constructed roads,” the NGO said in a statement to Newschecker, adding that they have reported the tweet to the cybercrime cell of Uttarakhand Police.
The image circulating on social media is manipulated.
Further, the NGO has not filed a petition to oppose the construction of the Char Dham road project. Their petition is regarding restriction of the width of the road project due to environmental concerns.
NGO ‘Citizens for Green Doon’
The Hindu- https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/armed-forces-cant-surrender-nations-defence-to-fear-of-landslips-government-tells-sc/article37437501.ece
Hindustan Times- https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sc-weighs-security-green-worries-over-char-dham-road-expansion-project-101636482787909.html
The Tribune- https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/highway-to-the-border-337375
The Times of India- https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/as-sc-appointed-panel-meets-to-discuss-char-dham-project-road-ministry-amends-own-circular-allows-wider-roads-in-hills/articleshow/79760213.cms
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