The triple train accident in Odisha’s Balasore created a stir in the country as it killed around 300 lives. This accident is said as the deadliest one in the last two decades. The accident involved two passenger trains, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express.
Soon after the incident, BJP supporters started highlighting an image of a worship spot near the train track with the claim that it is a Mosque to point out that the reason behind the accident is the Mosque. Some of the posts with such a claim can be seen here and here.
The claim was initially made by a Twitter page with the username ‘randomsena’. Another page with the name ‘Saffron Swamy’ also shared the image with the same claim and was retweeted by Radharamn Das, Vice President and Spokesperson of ISKCON Kolkata which was deleted later.
What is the truth?
When searching for clearer pictures of the incident, we found a News 18 Youtube channel video of an aerial view of the accident site that shows a clear view of the worship spot claimed by the BJP supporters.
We also found Independent news video on its Youtube channel carrying an aerial view of the accident site. Several social media users commented that the worship spot is Bahanaga ISKCON temple and not a Mosque. When searching for the images of the temple on Google, it is found to have matched the image captured in the aerial view of the accident site.
Further, a tweet by Odisha Police is found mentioning that some social media handles are mischievously giving communal colour to the tragic train accident at Balasore. The tweet further mentions that severe legal action will be initiated against those who are trying to create communal disharmony by spreading rumours.
There were multiple other tweets that shared the Odisha train accident incident with a communal angle. One post claims that the station master is a Muslim and that he absconded after the accident. Another post claims that tyres were placed on the railway track by the Muslim community to cause the train accident. Most of these unverified claims were deleted as soon as it was warned by police not to spread rumours that affect communal harmony.
It is found that the claim that a mosque was near the train accident site was made by BJP supporters deliberately to portray that the accident is due to the Muslim community. But the truth is the worship spot claimed as Mosque is actually an ISKCON temple.
It is to be noted that multiple unverified claims are also being made to put the Muslim community as the reason behind the train accident.