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  4. FACT CHECK: False claims linking old West Bengal railway station fire to Mira Road violence in Mumbai

FACT CHECK: False claims linking old West Bengal railway station fire to Mira Road violence in Mumbai

Fact-checking by India TV reveals the video's misrepresentation, emphasizing the importance of responsible social media sharing during sensitive situations. Authorities are urged to caution the public against misinformation and maintain peace amid ongoing tensions in Mira Road.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: January 25, 2024 23:35 IST
Screenshot of claims linking the old West Bengal railway
Image Source : INDIA TV Screenshot of claims linking the old West Bengal railway station fire to Mira Road violence in Mumbai.

A video depicting a fire at a West Bengal railway station in 2023 is circulating online with false claims that it shows recent rioting at Mira Road railway station in Thane district, Mumbai. Fact-checking by India TV revealed the video's misrepresentation, as it captured a fire incident at Santoshpur railway station in West Bengal. The misleading content has emerged amidst heightened tensions on Mira Road following communal clashes.

Background: Mira Road communal clashes

Communal clashes erupted on Mira Road on January 21, 2024, on the eve of the Ram Temple consecration in Ayodhya. Reports from The Indian Express attributed the violence to a mix of provocative slogans during a Hindu procession, rumours, and a lack of police presence in Mira Road's Naya Nagar area, which has a predominantly Muslim population. Authorities responded with 19 arrests for rioting and posting inflammatory content on social media. Additionally, municipal authorities demolished illegal structures in the aftermath of the clashes.

Misleading video context

Amid the Mira Road situation, several verified social media accounts on X (formerly Twitter) shared the old video with the hashtag "Mira Road Riots," falsely claiming it depicted the current scenario at the Mira Road railway station. The video misleads viewers, creating a false narrative about the ongoing events in Mumbai.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVPost falsely claiming it depicted the current scenario at the Mira Road railway station.

Fact-checking process

India TV Fact Check observed Western Railway's response on X, where the official handle clarified that no such incident occurred at Mira Road station. To further verify, a reverse image search on a keyframe from the viral video led to a Bengali news report by Sangbad Pratidin on April 6, 2023. The video was titled "Massive fire breaks out in Santoshpur station," confirming the context of the old footage.

Keyword searches in Bengali revealed multiple news reports from 2023 about the Santoshpur incident. ABP Ananda reported a massive fire at Santoshpur railway station on April 6, 2023, around 5:30 p.m., affecting at least 15 shops and temporarily suspending train services on the Budge Budge-Sealdah section of the Eastern Railway. The Times of India, citing a railway official on April 7, 2023, noted that the fire caused no significant damage to railway property but engulfed shops encroaching on railway land. Locals suspected a cylinder blast as the potential cause.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVIndia TV Fact Check observed Western Railway's response on X.

Conclusion and caution

The video circulating online, linking a West Bengal railway station fire from 2023 to the recent Mira Road violence in Mumbai, is unequivocally false. The misleading information adds to the challenges in sensitive situations, emphasising the importance of fact-checking and responsible social media sharing. Authorities are advised to caution the public against misinformation and maintain peace during ongoing tensions.

Also read | FACT CHECK: Fake image circulates claiming Burj Khalifa lit up for Ram Navami | Here's the truth 

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