गुजरात से भागते बिहार और यूपी के लोग भारत पाकिस्तान विभाजन 1947 याद आ गया (People from UP and Bihar feeling Gujarat. A reminder of India Pakistan separation in 1947).” An image of a crowded local train was circulated by Facebook page The Headline on October 8 with the aforementioned caption. At the time of writing this article, the post was shared nearly 12,000 times.

गुजरात से भागते बिहार और यूपी के लोग..
भारत पाकिस्तान विभाजन 1947 याद आ गया
😡😡😡😡

Posted by The Headline on Monday, 8 October 2018

From the profile of an individual user named Swaranjit Singh Sarao, the same image was shared with an identical caption. It has over 11,000 shares. The photograph was also circulated from Facebook pages Rahul Gandhi FC and Priyanka Gandhi – Future Of India, drawing a combined share count of almost 12,000. The post was widespread both on Facebook and Twitter.

Earliest instance

Alt News traced one of the earliest instances of this image shared with an identical narrative from the Twitter handle पिंकू शुक्ला‏ (@shuklapiku) on October 8 at 6:55 pm. This individual is followed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s Office and BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga.

Subsequently, it was circulated by several individuals on Twitter, including a user Shilpi Singh who identifies herself as the State Vice President (IT and Social Media) of Congress MP. Another individual Preeti Chobey who identifies herself as National Executive Member of Samajwadi Party also shared the photo.

The official Twitter handle of Chattisgarh Youth Congress circulated the picture as well.

Image from 2010

Alt News reverse searched the image on Google and found a 2012 report by BBC which had used the same photograph, attributing it to Reuters. On searching for the picture on Reuters Images, we found that it was taken in Uttar Pradesh in 2010. The media outlet captioned it as, “Hindu devotees travel on a crowded passenger train to take part in the “Guru Purnima” festival in Goverdhan town near the northern Indian city of Mathura July 24, 2010.”

In the wake of attacks on migrants from the Hindi speaking belt in several districts of Gujarat following the arrest of a Bihar native for allegedly raping a 14-month-old girl, several images and videos attributed to migrants fleeing the state were viral on social media. Earlier, an unrelated video from West Bengal was shared using the identical narrative. Social media users are advised to refrain from furthering the circulation of such imagery without self-verification.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.