India enforces gag after media disproves Uri attack claims

India enforces gag after media disproves Uri attack claims

After a news item in a leading Indian publication contradicted a senior army officer's false claims on the Uri attack, the country's Defence Ministry has now ordered media outlets to 'pre-verify' army-related stories.

The Indian defence ministry has now told editors "all contents relating to the Indian Army, irrespective of ‘source’ of inputs, and intended to be published, should be pre-verified from the offices of media centres in commands & corps HQ or from this office through your defence correspondents", media reports said on Thursday.

Shortly after the militant attack in Uri on September 18, Indian DGMO Lt-Gen Ranbir Singh had claimed that weapons recovered from the slain attackers bore Pakistani markings.

But a story in the Indian Express three days later refuted the Indian general's claim, saying rifles used by the terrorists "bore no markings or insignia of any kind".

The story said there was no military markings on the grenades or on launchers fitted on the Kalashnikovs.

Although the Indian defence ministry later said the army General never made the claim, his statement was aired by Indian media channels without the Indian military issuing a denial.

According to a report, Abhijit Mitra, the director media in the Ministry of Defence, has demanded that the Indian Express "publish an errata and apology for having published a report full of falsehood" but that all army-related reports be "pre-verified" by the relevant corps or command media office.