New Delhi: The Army has officially reacted to the social media generated controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Leh General Hospital, calling it 'malicious'.
Netizens and some Congress handles have been tweeting out pictures of the PM's visit to the wood-panelled ward and wondered why no medical equipment was visible in the frame.
A hospital with no equipment, just beds? None of the soldiers look injured. All bed sheets clean and nicely tucked in. Looks like the PM's set director & marketing team over-scripted this? Or have these theatrics just become the norm now?#Shame pic.twitter.com/IiJ0x6U22J— Ishaan Sethi (@isethi03) July 3, 2020
Some even pointed out to a projector visible in the pictures and deduced that the Hospitals Conference Hall was converted into a ward for the PM's benefit.
A Good Photographer always choose a good set/studio to take photographs, here A conference room is converted into a hospital to take memorable photographs however Munnabhai forgot to arrange dustbin, Drip and oxygen stand to give a perfect look to fool his parents.(2020) pic.twitter.com/FEUHsSwonC— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) July 3, 2020
Congress leader Rajeev Satav went a step further and put out pictures of Dr Manmohan Singh to show what a 'real hospital visit' looks like.
कोई प्रधानमंत्री को ये फ़ोटो दिखाये कि अस्पतालों में घायलों से कैसे मिला जाता है? pic.twitter.com/hznOnzJIJF— Rajeev Satav (@SATAVRAJEEV) July 4, 2020
Offered without comments. WYSIWYG pic.twitter.com/7MTJDsupxt— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) July 4, 2020
पर यह हॉस्पिटल लग कहा से रहा हैं - ना कोई ड्रिप , डॉक्टर के जगह फोटोग्राफर ,बेड के साथ कोई दवाई नहीं , पानी की बोतल नहीं ? पर भगवान का शुक्रिया की हमारे सारे वीर सैनिक एक दम स्वस्त हैं ।।।।। भारत माता की जय ।।।। pic.twitter.com/rLY7aoC4Hu— Abhishek Dutt (अभिषेक दत्त) (@duttabhishek) July 3, 2020
As the controversy took wings on Twitter, the Army released an angry statement calling the accusations 'malicious' and 'unsubstantiated'.
"The COVID-19 protocol had necessitated some wards of the General Hospital to be converted into isolation facilities. Hence, this hall, which otherwise was normally used as a Training Audio Video Hall, was converted into a ward ever since the hospital was also designated as COVID treatment hospital," it said.
It is important to note that Army Chief Gen MM Naravane had visited soldiers injured in the Galwan clash on June 23 in the same ward. The Army's official Twitter handle had put out pictures of that visit.
If not the statement then that picture should put a lid on the unnecessary controversy.