Beijing: The police in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing have detained a popular blogger over social media posts regarding military casualties of Galwan valley clash with India.
The Nanjing Bureau of Public Security said on Saturday that Qiu Ziming, 38, was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, a vague crime that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
The authorities accused him of demeaning military casualties of the border clash, South China Morning Post reported.
Qiu, a former reporter with the weekly Economic Observer, had 2.5 million followers on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo when he published two posts on Friday that suggested a commander survived the clashes because he was the highest-ranking officer there.
He also suggested that more Chinese soldiers might have been killed in the conflict than those disclosed by the authorities.
On Friday, the Chinese military ended its months-long silence to say that four soldiers – Chen Hongjun, 33, Xiao Siyuan, 24, Wang Zhuoran, 24 and Chen Xiangrong, 18 – were killed in the conflict in the Galwan Valley in June. Their commanding officer Qi Fabao, 41, was badly wounded.
State media also released footage of the clash showing Qi walking with open arms towards Indian troops and trying to stop them.
Earlier in February, Russian news agency TASS had claimed that 45 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clashes at the Galwan Valley.
In a commentary on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua accused Qiu of “damaging the reputation of heroes, hurting nationalistic feelings and poisoning patriotic hearts” with his sensational posts.
The Chinese Communist Party has long been accused of suppressing the idea that could undermine the sweeping authority.
In just the past few years, the government has attempted to muzzle critics by making them disappear without a trace, ordering people to physically barge into their houses, or locking up those close to critics as a kind of blackmail.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)