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Image of IAF chopper showering flowers on migrant workers along highway is not real

The image of a helicopter showering flower petals is from a Republic Day celebrations two years ago.

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New Delhi: The image of an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter showering flower petals on a family of migrant workers walking along a road has gone viral on social media.

The photograph has been shared widely on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp with captions hinting that it was part of the Indian Air Force and Navy’s tribute Sunday to frontline workers battling Covid-19.

Several verified handles on Twitter have shared it. Writer and political analyst Raju Parulekar has shared it with a caption reading:  “This picture describes Modiji’s new India completely, words are not needed.”

His post was retweeted over 130 times and liked by 700 Twitter users at the time of publishing this report.

Another Twitter user named Jayasree Vijayan, with 14,000 followers, also shared the image. Vijayan juxtaposed it with a cartoon showing migrant workers waiting for food but being showered with flowers instead. The tweet was liked more than 5,000 times.

Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor has also retweeted  Vijayan’s tweet.

A Mumbai based screenwriter and film-maker, Mayur Puri, also shared the image saying “the photographer deserves a prize for capturing every aspect of 2020 in one frame”.

News agency ANI also tweeted the image Sunday, juxtaposing it with another photograph. The agency said the two photos were of an IAF helicopter showering flower petals on the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh to express gratitude towards medical professionals.

Also read: Viral video of communal flare-up and stone pelting is from Pakistan, not Bihar

Fact check

The image of the helicopter showering flower petals is from a Republic Day celebrations two years ago.

The image has been photoshopped and the difference in the colour of the sky is clearly visible.

Many users on social media platforms have also pointed out that the photograph is ‘fake’ but none of the users mentioned above have deleted their tweets so far. Some of those who have posted it said that the photograph may be fake but can be symbolic.

Also read: Waris Pathan didn’t threaten police to open mosque amid lockdown, viral video is 4 years old

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