On Tuesday, Caravan India journalist Vidya Krishnan took to Twitter to claim that 40 Shramik Express trains got lost and that the government ‘forgot’ to feed the passengers which led to death of at least 10 people.
Krishnan provided no proof to back this claim of 10 people dying due to hunger because the government ‘forgot’ to feed them. Press Information Bureau’s fact-checking arm took to Twitter to call out her falsehood.
PIB confirmed that no such deaths due to hunger of individuals was reported. The Indian Railways had earlier today clarified that the report of trains being delayed by 9 days are incorrect. Similarly, the Railways spokesperson also stated that the cause of death of those who died is not yet known. The PIB also confirmed that the reports of people dying due to hunger are incorrect. The cause of deaths of those individuals can only be ascertained once postmortem is carried out.
Moreover, earlier this week, the Indian Railway officials have categorically stated that due to the increased traffic on railways routes, especially on those routes where more trains are being run to transport the migrant workers, some trains are being diverted through other routes to ease congestion on main routes.
“There will be no change or delay in travel time. This is normal practice,” said a senior Railway official refuting claims made by some other journalist earlier.
Says the party which converted Auto and motorcycles into Bus !— Chowkidar Hardik (@Humor_Silly) May 23, 2020
There are hundreds of trains operating to UP Bihar daily and due to which they diverted the route pic.twitter.com/PVHv2XBStV
Vidya Krishnan and fake news
This is not the first time Krishnan has been caught spreading complete falsehoods and misleading reports on the current healthcare crisis in India. She had earlier conjured up anonymous members of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) to claim that the Modi government had not consulted the experts before extending the nationwide lockdown. Then, too, ICMR had refuted her claims and clarified that in the month of April, the Task Force met 14 times and that all decisions taken involve the members of the Task Force.
In March, the online magazine tried to defame the government by maliciously claiming that India is trying to conceal the real situation the country while tackling the novel Coronavirus spread. Even in this article, it was the same writer Vidya Krishnan who had resorted to spreading falsehood. Krishan falsely claimed that “at two separate press briefing held on Friday, both the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research—also a government body—rejected the possibility of local transmission”. But that is a completely false claim, because the Indian Council of Medical Research has already stated that by March 14, 2020, India was already at stage 2 of transmission, which means local transmission.