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Fact Check: Maldives’ Villa Airport Visual Erroneously Linked To INS Jatayu Naval Base In Lakshadweep


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to join the task forces aboard INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant for the inauguration of a naval base in Minicoy on March 4-5. Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep, India plans to strengthen its naval presence establishing bases in Agatti and Minicoy Islands and air bases to protect vital sea routes. Against this backdrop, a picture has surfaced on Internet claiming it to be the INS Jatayu Naval Base.

A Facebook user posted the picture with a caption: 🔴Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Sir to inaugurate a Naval Base at INS Jatayu (Minicoy Islands) in #Lakshadweep around March 4-5, 2024. #INGDT🇮🇳🙏🇮🇳🙏🇮🇳 — in Patna.

Here is the link to the above post.


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be FALSE.

Running a Reverse Image Search of the picture, the NM team traced a report in Maldives Insider, dated June 13, 2011, carrying the same picture with a headline: “Villa Airport Maamigili Ready for Operations”. According to the report, “All civil works for, Villa Airport Maamigili, a landmark project in aviation undertaken for the first time by a private company in the Maldives, was completed recently on 11th June. The airport is now preparing to begin providing commercial services.”

With a keyword search, our team found the same picture on Airliners website, dated October 18, 2009, with a caption: “The new airport right beside the Holiday island Resort on left edge is still under slow construction.” The picture is taken by Rainer Spoddig,  clarifying that this is a Villa airport in Maldives.

With the help of Google Earth, it is also confirmed that this is the Villa International Airport in the Maldives.

Thus, we can conclusively say that an old image of villa airport from 2009 has been shared as the INS Jatayu Naval Base in Lakshadweep with false claims.

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