English, Fake News

Unrelated photos falsely shared as those of ‘Special Frontier Force (SFF)’


A couple of images are being shared on social media with the claim that they are related to ‘Special Frontier Force (SFF)’. It was reported by multiple news agencies that the SFF has played a crucial role in the recent clash between India and China in Eastern Ladakh. Let’s fact-check whether the images are related to SFF.

Claim: Photos of ‘Special Frontier Force (SFF)’.

Fact: Both the images are not related to ‘Special Frontier Force (SFF)’. While one of the photos is related to National Security Guard (NSG) commandos marching in the 2017 Republic Day Parade, the other photo shows Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP). Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Photo 1: (Archived)

When the image was run through Google Reverse Image Search, the same photo was found in the ‘Hindustan Times’ article. The article was published in January 2017. The photo has the following description – “NSG commandos march for the first time at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Thursday (Mohd Zakir/ HT Photo)”. So, when searched with the related keywords, we found other related photos clicked by the same photographer on the ‘Getty Images’ website. In one photo, it can be clearly seen that it is written ‘NSG’ on the uniform. Information regarding the NSG can be found here.

Photo 2: (Archived)

When the image was run through Google Reverse Image Search, the same photo was found to be uploaded by the official Twitter handle of ‘Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)’. The photo was taken in Ladakh on the occasion of Independence Day in 2020. The personnel in the photo belongs to ITBP.

The Special Frontier Force (SFF) was formed post Indo-China war of 1962 as an elite guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan refugees. Its main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Indo-China war.

To sum it up, unrelated photos are being falsely shared as the photos of ‘Special Frontier Force (SFF)’.

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