A set of two photos has gone viral across social media, showing two different defence personnel outfits. The images have gone viral with the claim that it shows the progress of the Central Reserve Police Force uniform over ten years, 2012 to 2022.
The photos show a side by side comparison of the two defence personnel outfits claiming that there has been significant progress through the years. The military outfit on the right has been outfitted with more advanced gear like a night-vision-attached military helmet and a communication device. The posts claim it as an accomplishment by the Modi government.
A collage compares upgraded gears used by the CRPF jawans in 2011 and 2021.
Several Twitter users shared this collage and captioned it in Hindi, "बस इतना बदला हमारा हिंदुस्तान."
[English Translation: This is how much India has changed.]
The Logical Indian India verifies the claim and found it misleading. The viral picture was taken in 2017, and a picture of a soldier with upgraded gear is of an elite commando, a special operations unit of the CRPF.
On observing the viral images, we found a watermark of Alamy (stock images website) mentioned on the image. Taking a clue from it, we ran a google reverse image search and found this image on Alamy dated June 27 2012. The caption of the photo reads, "Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) member questioning a Kashmiri Muslim woman during a curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital of indian Kashmir on 27.6. 2012. A major fire gutted a 350-year-old, revered Sufi Muslim shrine in Indian Kashmir on June 25, Thousands of Indian forces patrolled tense streets in Kashmir's main city on Wednesday as residents boycotted work for a third straight day to protest the fiery destruction of a 350-year-old Muslim shrine". The credit of this photograph was given to Altaf Zargar of Zuma Press.
We ran a google reverse image search and found this image on Getty Images dated January 23 2021. The image caption reads, "CRPF Commando on high alert ahead of Republic Day celebration at Rashtriya Rangshala Camp, on January 22, 2021, in New Delhi, India.
On observing the image, we found that badges like 'Commando' and 'Valley Qat' on the uniform of the soldier.
Using this hint, we did a keyword search and found that the viral image is of a member of the CRPF Valley QAT (Quick Action Team). It is an elite commando unit of CRPF which operates in the Jammu and Kashmir valley and is equipped to work for special ops. The squad has earned 50 gallantry awards in just 26 operations.
On searching more, we found a tweet of Doordarshan dated December 23 2021, in which the Passing out parade (POP) of the CRPF Jawas can be seen. However, no recent changes have been made in the CRPF uniform. The uniforms of different squads can also be seen in the passing out parade of CRPF.
It is evident from our investigation that no changes have been made in the CRPF uniforms recently. CRPF personnel are still using the Khakhi uniform. The viral pictures are of different CRPF squads, and the picture of a soldier equipped with advanced security gear is of CRPF Valley QAT, which operates in the Jammu and Kashmir valley. Hence, the viral claim is misleading.
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