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news Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 05:30
The Indian Army this week concluded what is being touted as one of its largest covert operations in Myanmar against militants, in response to the June 4 killing of 18 of its troop members in a  militant attack in Manipur. Army Statement on Mil Ops this morning along Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland and Manipur. (Better Copy) pic.twitter.com/BFnfFG9VrO — Sitanshu Kar (@SpokespersonMoD) June 9, 2015   On Wednesday, a photograph of a group of army men, with a helicopter in the background, was posted on Twitter by some journalists covering the defence beat and social media users. The men in the photograph were said to be the commandos who had taken part in the Myanmar operation. Army team that destroyed militant camp in Myanmar. No casualties. Faces blurred to protect identity. pic.twitter.com/fXAVAmxLSM — ANI (@ANI_news) June 10, 2015 Soon, other defence beat journalists tweeted saying the picture should not have been shared without morphing their faces and that it could jeopardise further operations and even put their life at risk. Request all not to share pictures of the Myanmar Op commandos without blanking their faces. pic.twitter.com/oAqEWOCbZA — Sandeep (@SandeepUnnithan) June 10, 2015 What ensued was a discussion which took a rather unexpected turn. Some users, including journalists, raised questions on the authenticity of the photograph in relation to the context of the operation. Not the guys who did Tuesday's ops. Misleading picture https://t.co/SaeAwgCmCE — nitin gokhale (@nitingokhale) June 10, 2015 The source of the picture and whether it was released by the Army or not is also not clear. A journalist working with a national channel said that the photograph of the commandos first popped up in a WhatsApp group, the members of which include journalists and some with defense connections. "I suspect the picture is genuine, but then the army will never accept or deny the picture," the journalist said. Shedding some light on the confusion, the journalist also pointed out that the chopper used in the operation was an IAF one whereas the chopper in the picture is an army chopper. Little later, another photograph with an army helicopter mid air and three army professionals in the foreground has also been published by several media organisations in reports about the operation. But soon Twitter users pointed out that the image was from 2009. Army team that destroyed militant camp in Myanmar. No casualties. Faces blurred to protect identity. pic.twitter.com/67QY56Ehjf — ANI (@ANI_news) June 10, 2015 TinEye, an online image search tool, directs to this page when the second image is searched on the internet. This hints at the possibility that this image could also be an old one. Two things that emerged from the online debate were this: 1. Seems there are no guidelines in the media when to use or not use pictures of defense personnel, especially of those involved in covert operations. 2. There seems to be no compulsion on anyone to reveal the source of a picture, which perhaps is the source behind all the confusion.
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