“Audio Video Hall Converted”: Army After Row Over PM’s Hospital Photos

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'Audio Video Hall Converted': Army After Row Over PM's Hospital Photos

Many questioned the presence of a projector in the hospital ward PM Modi visited in Ladakh.


  • Photos of PM Modi’s visit to the hospital triggered a controversy online
  • Allegations “malicious and unsubstantiated”, said Indian Army
  • PM Modi made an unannounced visit to Ladakh on Friday

New Delhi:

The Indian Army on Saturday said allegations that a medical ward had been set up to stage a photo op for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to a military hospital in Ladakh were “malicious and unsubstantiated”. The medical ward was an audio-video training room that had been converted as part of the COVID-19 protocol long before PM Modi’s visit, it said.

“It is unfortunate that aspersions are being cast on how our brave Armed Forces are treated. The armed forces give the best possible treatment to their personnel,” the army said in a statement.

Prime Minister Modi made an unannounced visit to Ladakh on Friday, weeks after a clash with Chinese troops left 20 Indian soldiers dead. He also met soldiers who were injured and are being treated at the hospital.

The government billed PM Modi’s visit to the Nimu in Ladakh as one to a “forward location” in Ladakh even though the Galwan valley, where the clash took place, is at least 200 km by road and Nimu has long been a popular tourist destination. Forward posts are generally within 40 km of the frontline and fall within range of enemy fire.

Photographs released by the BJP and the government of PM Modi’s visit to the hospital also triggered a controversy online as many said that the facility did not look like a hospital as there were no medicine cabinets, intravenous fluid stands, and other medical equipment.

Some even spotted a projector hanging from the ceiling as PM Modi posed next soldiers on tidy beds with wheels in a sparkling clean room.

Rubbishing the allegations, the Indian Army issued a statement on Saturday, saying, “There have been malicious and unsubstantiated accusations in some quarters regarding the status of the facility visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the General Hospital at Leh on July 3.”

“It is clarified that the said facility is part of the Crisis Expansion capacity of 100 beds and is very much part of the General Hospital complex,” it added.

It said the COVID-19 protocol had necessitated some wards of the 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-19 treatment hospital,” it said.

The army said the “injured braves have been kept there since their arrival from Galwan to ensure quarantine from COVID areas. The Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and the Army Commander have also visited the injured braves in the same location.”


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