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Photographs from a protest held by the CPI(M) has gone viral with the claim that the party protested against the Indian Army in light of the clashes at the Indo-China border near the Galwan valley, Eastern Ladakh on June 15.
Two such images are doing the rounds.
"Communist party of India's communist party of India took a rally in Delhi against the army after the Indian army destroyed the 5 Soldiers of China. Sitaram Century, Vrunda Karat, Prakash Karat etc." reads the caption of the viral post.
भारतीय लष्कराने चीनच्या 5 सैनिकांना मारले हे कळताच भारतीय कम्युनिस्ट पक्षाने अँटी पीपल पॉलिसी च्या नावाखाली छुपा अजेंडा राबवत भारत सरकार विरोधात प्रदर्शन केले— Dr Jay Oturkar (@jaybappa) June 18, 2020
हे असले विरोधी असल्यावर शत्रूची तरी काय गरज pic.twitter.com/edE0A7IUQf
The Indian Army on Tuesday, June 16, issued an official statement on the "violent faceoff" that took place between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh's Galwan valley on June 15.
The statement informed that both sides have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed.
"Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation," the Army said in a statement.
According to the statement, twenty Indian soldiers including a commanding officer of an infantry battalion lost their lives in the violent clash with their Chinese counterpart. In its initial statement on Jun 16, the army had announced that an officer and two soldiers had been killed in action.
By evening, the authorities updated that 17 Indian troops who were critically injured later succumbed to injuries and to extreme freezing temperature at the high-elevation terrain. Reportedly, the Chinese army had also suffered significant casualties during the conflict, the numbers have not been confirmed yet.
The Ministry of External Affairs' spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the face-off took place in Galwan valley where the Chinese side "departed from the consensus to respect the LAC (Line of Actual Control)" and attempted to "unilaterally change the status quo".
CPI (M) held a protest against Indian Army in Delhi in light of the recent clash at the Indo-China border at the Galwan Valley.
The claim is false.
While searching for a confirmation of the claims propagated through the viral claims on the official Twitter account of the CPI(M), it was found that the party had tweeted the viral photos among others on June 16.
"All India Protest against Modi govt's anti-people policies," reads the caption.
Using the above information a keyword search was done which led to news reports on the protest.
According to a report by The Hindu, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] had organised protest meetings across Kerala on June 16. This was a part of the party's nationwide protest against certain Central government policies. These include the labour and economic policies, handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crackdown on activists.
The demands made in the protests included the provision of 200 days employment under the MGNREGS, increase in wages, an extension of employment guarantee scheme to urban areas, unemployment allowance to the jobless, cash transfer of ₹7,500 per month for six months for all families outside income tax bracket, distribution of 10 kilograms of rice for poor families, and reversal of the policy of privatisation of the PSUs.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai inaugurated the protest in Thiruvananthapuram and accused the Modi administration of helping in the transmission of the contagion by implementing a sudden lockdown, which led to the exodus of millions of migrant workers.
"Even though the Union government announced a stimulus package of ₹20 lakh crore, a lion's share of it was a repetition of budget packages already allocated. The State governments leading the fight against COVID-19 are not being provided the required funds or even the share of GST belonging to them. Attempts are also being made to curtail the powers of the States. The Centre has used the lockdown period for a massive crackdown using fabricated cases on those who were part of the peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act," said Pillai.
CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said while the Kerala government had fought the pandemic with wide participation of the public, in a model lauded across the world, the Centre had given unscientific calls to fight the virus by banging plates and lighting lamps without actual steps to alleviate the sufferings of the people. He said 10 lakh party workers across 2 lakh centres participated in the hour-long protest in the State.
A photo carried by The Telegraph's report on the incident, shows Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPI (M) and Brinda Karat, the first woman to be appointed to the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the highest decision-making body of the party.
A close look of them in viral photos show the text written on the placards.
A close-up on Sitaram Yechury's poster shows the text 'immediately pay Rs 7500 for three months to all outside the income tax bracket.'
Brinda Karat's poster reads 'provide free 10kgs foodgrains per month for six months to all needy individuals.'
Both the slogans are in line with the news reports.
Therefore, the protests organized by CPI(M) had no connection with the Indian Army or the recent class at the Indo-China border near Galwan Valley.
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