Fact Check

Govt officials use image from Bangladesh to show ‘development’ in Kashmir ahead of G20 Summit

Amid preparations like the redevelopment of roads in the City ahead of the Third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting from May 22-24, one of the images widely as “a developed Boulevard Road of Srinagar” turned out to be fake. The exact location of the image was found to be Jhautola Patuakhali in Bangladesh.

Users claimed the image is a ‘stunning symbol of transformation’ ahead of the G20 meet in Kashmir.

Among many others, the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Budgam, shared the image with a caption: “Boulevard Road, leading to the venue for the G20 Meeting in Srinagar, has been given a new look to warmly welcome delegates from around the globe.”

The Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Jammu and Kashmir also shared the fake development.

The chairman of a Jammu Kashmir-based NGO Save Youth Save Future, Wajahat Farooq Bhat, tweeted the image with the same claim. The photograph has been removed from the account now.

Minister of state for External Affairs and Culture, Government of India, Meenakshi Lekhi, replied to their tweet with a thumbs-up and a clapping emoji.

Twitter Aquib Mir shared the image in a tweet addressed to “puppet of Pakistani army and terrorist lover” Shahid Afridi. Like others, the user claimed that the image was clicked at Boulevard Road in Srinagar, which has been given “a magnificent makeover to welcome delegates from across the world’ for the G20 meet.”

For the last many months, work under the Rs 980-crore Smart City project was being carried out on a war footing to complete 130 developmental projects ahead of the summit.

Several users including @FatimaDar_jk, @Mindblower81, @Asif_Plaisar and @SehrishB_tweeted the image with the same claim.

Upon a reverse image search of the image by Alt News, it was found that the picture was originally set as display picture by a Facebook page Jhautola Patuakhali । ঝাউতলা পটুয়াখালী on February 6, 2023.

It was discovered that Jhautola Patuakhali is a park in Patuakhali town, which is the headquarters of Patuakhali district in the Barishal division of Bangladesh. The Facebook page is dedicated to the development of the park.

Meanwhile, the Chief Coordinator of the G-20 event Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Sunday said that Srinagar has gone through a massive makeover.

“Massive awareness camps have been held in all parts of the country about the G-20. Specifically about the G20 event in Srinagar, the guests’ arrivals have commenced and we are all set to host the event,” said Shringla.

He said that there will be speakers, and guests from various parts of India. “There will be group discussions as well. I believe the event will help revive the economy of JK and its vast potential of tourism,” Shringla said, adding that “the event will help give a big push to JK’s sustainable tourism, adventure tourism, film and eco-tourism.”

He said the event will open doors of opportunities for the people of J&K, who are bestowed with natural beauty.

Speaking on the occasion, JK’s Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta said that over the past few years, JK’s tourism influx has seen an upward trend.

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