OPERATED BY CEJ

False

FACT-CHECKED

by CEJ |

No evidence for Indian army brigadier arrested for corruption in soldier pension programme

On May 22, 2024, an image and posts circulating on X claimed that an Indian army brigadier was arrested for buying a mansion in California using funds from the soldier pension programme. However, Indian media outlets reported no such news nor is there any evidence available.

Claim

Indian army brigadier arrested for massive corruption in soldier pension programme

Rating Justification

The iVerify Pakistan team has reviewed this content and determined that it is false.

To reach this conclusion, the iVerify Pakistan team investigated the claim using relevant keywords and conducted a reverse image search on the circulated image.

HOW IT STARTED

On May 22, 2024, the iVerify Pakistan team was alerted by the public about an account describing itself as an open-source intelligence network discussing conflicts and strategic developments that posted an image on X, showing a group of Indian army officers in a discussion.

The caption said, “Indian army brigadier arrested for massive corruption in soldiers’ pension programme. He recently bought a mansion for about $43 million in Los Angeles, California.”

The post gained over 57,000 views on X alone.

The same image was posted by an account named The Stand Point, which describes itself as an outlet for “unfiltered, authentic news”.

The caption of the post had the same headline: “Indian Army Brigadier arrested for massive corruption in soldiers’ pension programme.”

However, the post greatly elaborated on the alleged account of corruption in the Indian army ranks.

The post said, “In a shocking revelation, an Indian army brigadier has been arrested for his involvement in a large-scale corruption scandal related to the soldiers’ pension programme. The brigadier, whose name has been withheld pending further investigation, is accused of embezzling significant funds intended for the pensions of retired and disabled soldiers.

Adding to the controversy, it has been discovered that the brigadier recently purchased a lavish mansion in Los Angeles, California, worth approximately $43m.

This scandal is part of a larger problem within the Indian army, where rampant corruption and political manoeuvring have overshadowed its primary mission of national defence. High-ranking officials involved in fraudulent activities show a disturbing shift in priorities, focusing on personal gain over national service. This incompetence is further highlighted by the recent induction of a former Indian Air Force chief into the BJP, exemplifying the growing entanglement of military leaders in political affairs.”

Notably, none of the posts disclosed the name of the alleged Indian army brigadier who was arrested for corruption, nor did they cite any credible news organisations.

Nor did the posts provide details on the picture they had attached, who were the personnel in it and its context.

METHODOLOGY

The iVerify Pakistan team sought to determine the veracity of the claim due to its virality and to address the public’s demand for clarification on the matter.

To verify the claim, the team used relevant keywords such as “Indian army brigadier”, “corruption”, “mansion” and “California” to search for any news articles from Indian or international news outlets but found none.

Finding no reporting or coverage on the alleged incident in Indian media outlets, the team next conducted a reverse image search to investigate the attached picture, which yielded a news story dated February 23, 2023, from Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, with the headline, “Army chief visits Northern Command headquarters, reviews operational preparedness”.

According to the news report, “Army chief General Manoj Pande visited the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur on February 22, 2023, and reviewed the operational preparedness of the troops.”

The news article included an X post from the Indian army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information, dated February 22, 2023, which shared details of the event. The post was viewed by more than 50,000 X users.

The caption said, “General Manoj Pande, #COAS visited HQ @NorthernComd_IA & reviewed the operational preparedness & prevailing security situation. #COAS complimented all ranks for their high standards of professionalism and devotion to duty.”

The same visit by Chief Manoj Pande was also covered by other Indian news outlets here, here, here.

The same event was also reported by Indian wire news agency Asian News International in an X post with the caption, “Army chief Gen Manoj Pande visited Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur, J&K and reviewed operational preparedness and prevailing security situation. Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi and other officials briefed him on the ops issues.”

CONCLUSION

The iVerify Pakistan team has determined that the claim regarding the arrest of an Indian army brigadier for purchasing a mansion in California using funds from a soldier pension programme is false.

There was no news of any brigadier’s arrest for corruption or buying a mansion reported by any Indian news outlet.

Furthermore, the circulated picture is also an old one and unrelated to the claim, showing the Indian army chief in Udhampur in February 2023 to review the operational preparedness of troops.

Evidence and References

February 23, 2023, Hindustan Times report:
https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/army-chief-visits-northern-command-headquarters-reviews-operational-preparedness-101677097169500.html

February 22, 2023, X post of Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI):
https://perma.cc/4798-SRMS

February 22, 2023, X post of Asian News International (ANI):
https://perma.cc/WU3G-6WQ8