A graphic is being circulated online with the claim that amid India's border trouble with her neighbours, Bhutan has stopped the supply of irrigation water to farmers in Assam.
The text displayed on the graphic reads, "Now Bhutan stops the irrigation water for Indian farmers for the first time in 67 years! This is going to affect over 6000 farmers from 26 villages along the border in Baksa dist, Assam. Don't know how many disaster we would see under the Surrender Modi's regime"
The claim was also propagated by several news portals.
The Times of India:
Further, Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy quote tweeted Southasian monitor.
His tweet has been shared over 2000 times.
On social media platforms, several users shared the same information. The general notion of these posts was that "after China, Pakistan and Nepal, now Bhutan has also started hassling India".
Bhutan has stopped irrigation water to Indian farmers in Assam.
The claim is misleading.
Bhutanese Foreign Ministry Refutes Claim
The Bhutanese foreign ministry issued a press release, that refuted the viral claims and stated that the news articles are totally baseless and called it "a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation and cause misunderstanding between the friendly people of Bhutan and Assam".
Below is the press release:
According to the communique, the farmers of Baksa and Udalguri districts of Assam, adjoining Samdrup Jongkhar district of Bhutan, have been benefitting from Bhutan's water sources for several decades. Usually, during this time of the year, farmers from Assam enter Bhutan to manage the irrigation channels.
However, since the borders of both countries were sealed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian farmers could not enter Bhutan to maintain the irrigation channels. This led to the disruption of irrigation water supply to Assam.
According to the Bhutanese government, the indigenous people of the concerned regions are trying to repair these irrigation channels to ensure smooth flow of water to Assam. Heavy monsoon, however, is hampering work.
The ministry has released photographs which show how the local administration is working to clear the irrigation channels.
Viral Picture Is Five Years Old
It is noteworthy to mention that the photo in the viral graphic is actually 5 years old.
The website for Bhutan's agriculture and forests ministry has posted that photograph on April 20, 2015.
Therefore, the viral graphic misleads people into believing that India's relationship with her neighbours continues to tarnish.