Ahead of the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22, an image of a truck engulfed in fire has gone viral. According to news reports, a truck carrying fireworks had exploded and gone up in flames in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
Several media outlets such as NDTV, India Today, Business Standard, Republic, Mint, Lokmat Times, Brut India, Mirror Now covered the incident and reported that the truck was headed towards Ayodhya and was carrying items related to the ‘Ram Mandir’ Pran Pratishtha.
NDTV also tweeted the same on their official X page.
Truck Carrying Fireworks To #Ayodhya Catches Fire
— NDTV (@ndtv) January 17, 2024
We noticed that the news reports mentioned that the truck caught fire in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. We ran a relevant keyword search and came across a news report by The Times of India where the title said: “Truck carrying fireworks from TN to Bahraich catches fire”. The report mentioned that the truck started from Tamil Nadu and was headed towards Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh. The report did not mention that the truck was carrying items related to the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22.
The report quoted circle officer, Purwa police station, Sonam Singh, as saying that a short circuit in the truck might have caused the fire. Alt News reached out to Singh to find out more about the incident. She reiterated the fact mentioned in the TOI report and confirmed that the truck was coming from Tamil Nadu and was headed towards Bahraich, and not Ayodhya, and that it was in no way related to the consecration ceremony. She also mentioned that the truck had been carrying fireworks and some articles made of paper.
We also came across a statement by Unnao Police shared on their official X page corroborating that the truck was heading to Bahraich and was carrying supplies for shops, such as fireworks, posters of actors, kids and also religious posters.
— UNNAO POLICE (@unnaopolice) January 17, 2024
Hence, contrary to some news reports, the truck that caught fire in Unnao was not en route to Ayodhya and was not in any way related to the Ram Mandir consecration on January 22. Several mainstream media houses misreported the incident.
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