Congress members, journalists share image of Rohingyas as migrant workers amid lockdown

The official Twitter handle of the SC department of the Indian National Congress posted an image of a man carrying an old woman on his back with a message targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. “.@narendramodi जी, क्या आप इनके चेहरे की बेबसी को आप पढ़ पा रहे हैं? कुछ तो करो सरकार.. (@narendramodi, can you see the helplessness on their faces? the government should do something -translated),” reads the tweet.

National campaign in-charge of IYC Srivatsa too tweeted the same image while criticising the Indian Railways for charging tickets from migrants stranded across the country.

Journalist Vinod Dua referred to the same image during his show for HW News on May 11, 2020. A screenshot from the broadcast is posted below.

Economist Rupa Subramanya and journalist Swati Chaturvedi posted a collage of photos which included the picture.

Fact-check

With the help of a Google reverse image search, Alt News found that the image was published by International news agency Pressenza on November 8, 2017. “Rohingya Refugees at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh,” reads the title of the article. The image is credited to a photographer named Mobarak Hossain. It depicts the condition of the Rohingya refugees who made their way to Bangladesh.

Moreover, we found a video of the man carrying his mother on his back, posted by the Facebook channel Middle East Update on September 9, 2017. “I have carried my mother on my back for 4 days on foot after Myanmar soldiers set fire to our house (-Google translation),” the post quoted the Rohingya man as saying. This further corroborated the image is more than two years old. Boomlive found an article published by a Bengali website on September 6, 2017. According to the report, Osiur Rahman entered Bangladesh while carrying his 75-year-old mother Mamtaz Begum on his back.

Seorang pria Rohingya dalam perjalanannya mengungsi berkata, “Saya telah menggendong ibu saya di punggung saya selama 4 hari berjalan kaki setelah tentara Myanmar membakar rumah kita,” .

Posted by Middle EAST Update on Saturday, 9 September 2017

Therefore, an image of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh from 2017 was passed off as helpless Indian migrants travelling back to their homes amidst the lockdown.

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