NEW DELHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the butt of on the internet jokes on Friday when it turned out an official photo displaying him surveying flood damage in southern India through a helicopter window had been doctored.
The picture showed Modi peering through the round window at a dramatic view of flooded city streets in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, following the strongest rains in a century there killed a lot more than 280 individuals in a month and displaced thousands of residents.
Social media lit up with users accusing the official Press Info Bureau (PIB) of faking the scene. The PIB swiftly replaced it with 1 showing him surveying flooded farmland, which was significantly less clear than the shot of Chennai’s streets.
Soon customers were posting spoof photographs of Modi seeking via the window toward Earth, as if his helicopter were a space capsule, or seeing sharks as if he had been in a submarine.
There were also, inevitably, photoshopped photos with cats staring back at him via the helicopter window.
The prime minister’s workplace was shocked to see the photograph from his Thursday pay a visit to to the region getting distorted, stated a senior official who declined to be named.
PIB officials had been summoned and told to reinforce rules and regulations, he stated. “The prime minister will not tolerate this,” yet another staffer in the office stated.
In a statement late on Friday, the PIB expressed regret for merging two images. “This happened due to error of judgement and the image was subsequently deleted,” it said.
Reuters initially published the doctored PIB photograph, which was authorised for independent distribution, but added a disclaimer that it could not independently verify its authenticity. Reuters later withdrew the image.
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Rupam Jain Nair Editing by Tom Heneghan)