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HomeEnglishFact Check: Gunfight Happened At Nepal-India Border? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Fact Check: Gunfight Happened At Nepal-India Border? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
One person from India killed and two others injured in a shootout at Nepal-India border
Fact
Old News Of Gunfight At Nepal-India Border Shared as recent by using unrelated images of Gurkha soldiers

A 16-second video claiming a person from India was killed and two others injured in an alleged gun battle at Nepal-India border. The video goes on to claim that locals and Nepal’s Armed Police Force jointly chased away the people from the Indian side. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

The claim surfaces at a time when Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Balendra Shah’s move to place a map of ‘Greater Nepal’ in his chamber as a symbolic counter to India’s placing of the ‘Akhand Bharat’ mural in its new parliamentary building in New Delhi. Before the Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816, Nepal had spread its territory from Teesta River in the east to Sutlej in the west, the areas now fall inside Indian territory. Mayor Shah’s decision has been criticised as unconstitutional by constitutional experts.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @kapilkhadka_k.d posted a video showing images and footage of army personnel taking part in military activities. Voiceover accompanying the video presented in a news bulletin style says, “A gun battle ensued at Nepal-India border early in the morning. A person died and two others were injured from the Indian side. Armed Police Force (APF) personnel and locals jointly chased away the people from the Indian side. The shootout happened after attempts were made to seize the weapons of APF personnel.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Border dispute. Fire exchange at Nepal-India border. One killed two others injured from Indian side.” But the article didn’t specify where the incident happened. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on 11 January has garnered 17.5k likes, 139 users have shared it and 283 people have commented on it until the last count.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them. The search on the first keyframe led us to an image showing Indian Army soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Gurkha Rifles, during a joint military exercise (Yudha Abhyas) with US Army paratroopers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 11 May, 2013.  The image carried in Wikimedia commons has been credited to US Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod. Then we conducted a reverse search on the second image but no relevant results were found.

Further, we conducted a reverse search on the third image which pointed us to an article, carrying an image matching the viral video, published in the International Business Times. The article dated 19 February, 2014 was about the trend of employing former British Gurkha soldiers to protect properties across the wealthy north west London neighbourhood. On checking the article, we found that the image showed a soldier from the first battalion of Royal Gurkha Rifles demonstrating Khukuri skills at the Sir John Moore barracks in Folkstone.   

So, we looked up news reports about a gunfight involving Nepal’s Armed Police force at Nepal-India border by using relevant keywords and found an article titled ‘One Indian national killed in clash with APF at Nepal-India border’ published on My Republic online. On checking the article dated 13 June 2020, we found that an Indian national was killed and four others sustained injuries during a clash with Nepal’s Armed Police Force at Narayanpur border point between Nepal and India in Sarlahi district early in the morning of June 13. According to the news article, the clash ensued after a group of Indian nationals forcefully entered Nepal and tried to snatch weapons for APF personnel. Though the description of the news article somewhat matched the claim made in the viral video.   

We conspicuously noticed the mismatch of the images and footage used in the viral video and found that old news from 2020 June were shared as recent in an exaggerated manner without any context.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that a gunfight has ensued at Nepal-India border is misleading as the video carries old and unrelated images of Indian and British Gurkha soldiers and no shootout incident involving Nepal’s Armed Police Force has been reported in recent times.

Result: False

Sources
Wikimedia Commons, 11 May, 2013
Int’l Business Times, 19 February, 2014
My Republic Online, 13 June, 2020


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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