Modi humiliation: Indian Prime Minister caught in PR fiasco with Ladakh border soldiers

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However, a picture of Mr Modi attending the hospital seems to have ensued into a public relations disaster, as a picture originally intended to boost morale has now ended up causing distress. Photographs of the trip show the injured troops information on their hospital beds. The pictures give the impression that they have been mustered by a drill sergeant.

Mr Modi is in the middle of a room full of neatly made beds without a crease on the sheets on which soldiers sit cross-legged, their backs straight.

Further suspicions about this picture have been raised based on the fact there are no doctors or nurses to be seen.

As well as a lack of intravenous fluids, oxygen supplies or even a sticking plaster on any of the troops.

The scuffle took place in Ladakh, where the army hospital is also based.

However, sceptics have pointed out that the room pictured looks less like a hospital and more like a conference room.

The reason being because of its wood-panelled walls, gleaming parquet flooring and a slide projector.

There has been speculation in the Indian press and online over whether the photograph could be fake.

With many adding on that it could have just been created as a photo opportunity for Mr Modi.

Commentators have queried why none of the injured soldiers is lying down and even questioned whether the photograph was taken in a hospital at all.

One tweet said: “Not one Indian soldier seems to have external injuries needing any bandages.”

“. . they are all able to sit straight up (no internal injuries?), the pristine hospital ward with beds that look un-slept on . . . zero medical equipment. What is going on here?”

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Another read: “The army should put its foot down and tell Modi it will not be a part of his marketing gimmicks.”

“This is the limit, turning a conference room into a ward for a photo-op.”

The entire purpose of Prime Minister Modi’s visit was to show China that India was not intimidated by its actions.

Actions which had recently led to a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15, where 20 Indian soldiers died and many died.

The deaths were the first since the last big border clash in 1967 between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Since early May hundreds of soldiers have faced off against each other at three locations, each side accusing the other of trespassing.

Embarrassed by the furore, the army was forced to clarify its circumstances.

Privately, officials said that when the soldiers were being visited by a VIP or a commanding officer they preferred to sit up rather than lie down.

It called the allegations of a “dressed up” Potemkin ward “malicious and unsubstantiated”.

It said that the location had indeed been a conference room but that it had been turned into a makeshift ward to adhere to Covid-19 protocols that required some wards to be turned into isolation facilities.

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