A photo and video of a man who seems to have committed suicide by hanging himself from a bridge is viral on social media with a caption, “Amritsar Accident k train driver ne suicide kar lia #RIP”. The claim suggests that that the man in the viral photo is the train driver involved in the Amritsar tragedy.

Many social media users on Facebook and Twitter are sharing pictures and videos of the same incident with identical claims.

What is the truth?

Alt News spoke to SHO Gurwinder Singh of Chattiwind police station, where a case of suicide near Tarn Tarn area has been reported. Singh said, “This suicide is no way related to the train tragedy. This man was in depression from last four months.”

An article published by Dainik Jagran on October 22, 2018, stated, “In fact, the body hanging from a trap near Bohdu village was of a resident from Bhikhwind, Tarn Tarn named Paramjeet. It is said that Paramjeet was mentally ill and possibly for this reason he has committed suicide. Police is investigating the case.” It may be noted that an earlier report from Dainik Jagran has referred the same person as Harpal Sah. While we still lack clarity on the name of the person whose photos are circulating on social media, based on our conversation with the police and media reports, it can be stated with certainty that the said person is NOT the driver of the ill-fated train involved in the Amritsar tragedy.

Moreover, the letter which is being shared along with the claim that DMU driver (Arvind Kumar) has committed suicide is the statement given by him to the police and NOT a suicide note.

In all cases of recent tragedies, misinformation on social media has been a constant issue. Recently, during Kerala floods, Alt News exposed multiple cases of mis/disinformation. Earlier, Alt News exposed how attempts were made to communalise the Amritsar train tragedy by claiming that the name of the train driver was Imtiaz Ali. Now, a suicide unrelated to the Amritsar train tragedy is being passed off as the suicide by the driver of the ill-fated train. We wish to emphasise yet again – in times of emotional upheaval in the society, such as the one due to a natural disaster or a tragedy, be extremely circumspect about sharing provocative information on social media.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.