Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said a photograph of a seemingly flooded Ahmedabad airport circulated on Thursday and carried by several newspapers was fake and suggested that the news agency concerned explain the gaffe.
The agency, on its part, expressed regret and said that it has terminated the services of the photographer concerned.
“Attention: photographs of Chennai floods have been used and passed off as Ahmedabad PTI News Kindly alert all news establishments,” Irani said in a tweet.
“It would be prudent PTI News to get an explanation as to how this happened,” She said in another tweet.
Soon after Irani highlighted the error, Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar also accepted that the All India Radio alerts on Thursday too carried the same photograph.
“We regret that AIR Ahmedabad picked up this photo based on erroneous reporting. We will take action,” Shekhar said in a tweet.
Following the gaffe, the news agency said that it has terminated the services of the photographer.
“PTI deeply regrets the error and has terminated the services of the concerned photographer,” the news agency said tagging Irani and Shekhar on Friday.
The concerned news agency had on Thursday released a photograph of the waterlogged Chennai airport showing several planes lined up in front of the airport terminal with the caption describing it as Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.
Earlier in a similar incident, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in December 2015 had used a photoshopped image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a helicopter during an aerial survey of flood-hit Chennai.
The photograph was removed after questions were raised in social media about its authenticity.
In the photoshopped picture, released by PIB, a seated Modi is seen looking through the circular window of a chopper at rooftops and submerged streets with a remarkable clarity, which many felt could not be possible in a photo of an aerial survey.
The Prime Minister had made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai, its suburbs and Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts on December 3, 2015.