Even after being called out repeatedly for spreading false news, some leftist media portals and journalists do not abstain from using an existing crisis for their political propaganda.
Hindustan Times had published an article dated May 27, 2020, titled: “Migrants’ kid dies as father hunts for milk at railway station”, claiming that a four-and-a-half-year-old son of migrants from Bihar based in Delhi died of hunger at the railway station on arrival by a ‘Shramik Special’ train.
This report was shared by journalist Rana Ayyub. She immediately took to Twitter to further the lie by sharing the report captioning her Tweet: “The four-and-a-half-year-old son of migrants died at the railway station on arrival by a ‘Shramik Special’ train, while his father desperately hunted for some milk he believed will save his child”, insinuating that the lack of adequate arrangement of basic facilities like food and water on board and on platforms led to the death of the infant.
As evident from Ayyub’s tweet and the report by HT, the incident of the child’s death was portrayed as one due to hunger. However, the Ministry of Railways took to Twitter to confirm that the child was previously suffering from an ailment and that he was travelling with his family from Delhi after getting treatment for the disease. It also added that the child passed away 5 hours after deboarding the train. It warned the journalist against sharing or posting unverified news.
An unfortunate incident was reported at Muzzafarpur Station where a child passed away on the platform, 5 hours after deboarding the train.— Spokesperson Railways (@SpokespersonIR) May 28, 2020
The child was travelling with his family from Delhi after getting treatment for a disease.
Please do not share or post unverified news. https://t.co/zIJqZJNMEZ
Rana Ayyub: A repeat fake-news peddler
Yesterday, Rana Ayyub took to Instagram to hold the government in the dock for being accountable for the death of a woman, who she claims died because the government did not provide her with food and water on board and the interminable delays caused by the train.
Ayyub claimed that the woman “collapsed” on the Muzaffarpur railway station and died of starvation. However, the truth about the passing away of the concerned woman starkly contrasts with her figment of the imagination. According to Railways Ministry, the woman, who was travelling with her sister, husband and two children, was suffering from a prolonged illness and had died on the train during the journey.
Despite multiple clarifications, a certain section of the media is working overtime to prove that the government is negligent.
Railways calls out misleading reports that claim lack of food and water on Shramik Trains
Indian Railways has called out the misleading reports that are attributing deaths due to prior ailments to negligence by the railways. On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Jagran published news claiming that four people died on Shramik Express due to negligence. The report states that the migrant workers onboard Shramik Express have been deprived of food and water and cast aspersions that some of the migrants who died on these trains died due to lack of food and water.
However, the Indian Railways took to Twitter to rubbish the misinformation being spread regards to deaths on-board. Indian Railways asserted that medical assistance is provided to every passenger in case of emergencies. Moreover, food and water are provided on the Shramik Express trains for all passengers.
On Tuesday, Indian Railways had rebutted a Dainik Bhaskar report which had claimed that lack of food and water on Shramik Express trains is leading to the death of migrant workers. In its report, Bhaskar chalks up deaths of passengers to negligence observed by the railways. However, the Indian Railways categorically rejected the assertions made in the Bhaskar report, claiming that the cause of death of others onboard cannot be ascertained till the postmortem reports are out. One of the dead, a 4-year-old Mohammad Irshad, had passed away while boarding the train from Muzaffarpur to Betiya. The Railways clarified that the child was ill and was returning from Delhi after treatment.