Fact Check : Did army men force people to vote for BJP? Army denied the allegation

Posted on 2019-05-04 06:45:00 by Samyuktha Mirra

Summary

No, army men didn't force people to vote for BJP. The army has clarified that the video was recorded by miscreants who snatched the voter ids of the troops who were on their way to cast their votes. 

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A video has been shared by several social media users which shows two men interrogate a couple of army officers. The men who are yet to be identified are seen questioning the officers about them forcing people to vote for BJP and even allegedly called them out for casting proxy votes. This video was virally spread with people expressing their disheartened feelings towards the alleged claims. Several posts containing the video have been taken down but several posts are still live.

A Twitter user Rajesh tweeted the video with a caption "Indian Army Soldiers in uniform are caught forcing voters to vote for @BJP4India .Downfall of a nation is when men in uniform starts getting involved in politics. We have the example of Pakistan in front of us. Are we heading towards the same fate @adgpi? Dismiss them from Service".

You can watch the video tweeted by him here:

The two men confronting the army man allege that the latter came out running after they were confronted by people inside the polling booth for campaigning for the BJP and allegedly trying to cast proxy votes. The video is being shared on Facebook as well to criticize the Indian Army. Here is another post.

Clarification by Army

This incident has been covered by several news agencies which conclude that the allegations are false. According to a recent Times of India article, the army had complained to the police that they had their voter ID’s snatched by ‘goons’ who supposedly wanted to stop them from voting at the Jabalpur Cantonment area. They had also allegedly snatched the voter ID’s of the army officers’ family members and had taken that video to ‘malign the image of force’. The complaint read “By circulating the video in social media, there has been a deliberate attempt by miscreants to malign the image of Indian Army and its soldiers participating peacefully in democratic processes”. A picture of the complaint has been provided by ANI.

The officers reportedly wanted to file an FIR against the goons, however, the SP Nimish Agrawal told Times of India that the event had happened three days before being reported hence an FIR can be filed only after further investigation.

The vehicle in the video has been recognised by this Facebook post as belonging to Grenadiers Regimental Centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur and it can be confirmed from the ANI article.

According to The Quint, the army statement reads “The allegations are complete falsehood. The individuals had rung up Commandant when they were videographed and he told them not to get into any altercation and exercise their right of franchise and get back peacefully,”. It is also reported by The Quint that the vehicle seen in the video was used as transportation for the troops and their families.

We couldn't find any official press release by Indian Army but going by the reports of ANI, TOI and The Quint the accusation on army men seems to be false. On the basis of the picture of the complaint provided by ANI, we can say that the rumour that army officers forced people to vote for BJP is false.



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