Saturday 28 January 2023
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Fact CheckMuslims vandalise railway station for disturbing namaz, claims video; AltNews' fact-check goes...

Muslims vandalise railway station for disturbing namaz, claims video; AltNews’ fact-check goes awry

AltNews tries desperately to prove that the video is old, ending up furnishing a different video, conceding Muslims had been vandals earlier, and matching faces that don't match

A video went viral today, showing a mob attacking the railway station of Naopara-Mahishasur, with the claim that this happened today or recently because Muslims were worked up about the noise of passing trains disturbing their namaz (salah) while soon, not unexpectedly, leftist fact-checker AltNews pounced on the opportunity, claiming that the video was of 2019 vintage when a section of the demography was protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens. Whereas AltNews furthers spurious arguments like a ticket window at the platform resembling that in an old video, the two links it furnishes (here and here) in support of its allegation do not have any resemblance with the video in circulation today.

The following video went viral today:

Among others, RSS swayamsevak Ratan Sharda had shared the video, which AltNews challenged. While today’s video shows a mob attacking a platform and a waiting room — someone in the crowd tries to damage the ceiling fan — the first 2019 video shows a kitchen under attack, with the mob showering rods and sticks on implements such as a gas stove. There is no kitchen visible in today’s video.


AltNews claims further that a young man seen in today’s video was spotted also in the 2019 video. While it might have appeared to the website’s reporter Kalim Ahmed, the resemblance in the appearance of the said characters in the two videos is at best tenuous. And if they indeed are the same individual, AltNews has provided no argument to substantiate that one person cannot participate in two separate acts of vandalism.

Do the faces of the man in the image above and that in the photo below match?

Of course, there is one aspect that Ratan Sharda did not get right and one where AltNews is correct. Mahishasur and Naopara are not two different railway stations but one called NaoparaMahishasur. Quite a few other railway stations exist in West Bengal and other parts of the country where a dispute between two villages over the nomenclature of the station in their area was settled by combining the names. One other station in the state with a name that clearly looks like a combination of names is BisharpadaKodalia. In Delhi, there is a station that witnessed an agitation over naming in the eastern part of the capital city. It was finally named Mandavli-West Vinod Nagar to settle the quarrel between the inhabitants of the two settlements.

AltNews is right, on the other hand, in conceding that the incident happened in NaoparaMahishasur indeed.

Sirf News is waiting for an official confirmation of the incident. We will update our readers on the basis of authorised statements from the Indian Railways and West Bengal Police, RPF or GRP.

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