The Indian Army on Sunday said that a video of a man dressed up in an Army uniform, criticising Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for allegedly obstructing the work of the force in the flood-ravaged state, is fake.
“Imposter wearing Army combat uniform in video spreading disinformation about rescue and relief efforts,” the Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information tweeted. “Every effort by all and Indian Army aimed to overcome this terrifying human tragedy.” It also provided people a phone number to report disinformation.
“I am addressing Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan,” the imposter says in the video. “Why do you have so much animosity towards the Indian Army? Is it because your minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan doesn’t want the Army to come to your state?”
“Thousands are stranded in Chengannur,” the man, who is yet to be identified, adds. “Just let us come and do our work. We will not take over your state. Don’t be scared. Aren’t you bothered about your people? We do this kind of rescue operation everywhere around the country. This isn’t anything new for us.”
At least 357 people have died in the floods in Kerala since May 29. Vijayan has cancelled a planned trip to the United States, and will instead hold an all-party meeting on Tuesday. Meanwhile, massive relief and rescue operations are underway in the state, even as the downpour has reduced and flood water is receding.