A picture is circulating on social media in which a group of men is seen offering namaz (prayer) on a railway track. Along with this picture is text which says ‘Rail route blocked for Namaz. Sad that students who were travelling in this train got delayed and couldn’t appear for the NEET exams (translated).’ The text is in Tamil language.

It is claimed that this particular route was blocked for namaz which resulted in students travelling in this train unable to appear for the NEET medical entrance exam. The photograph does not mention when or where this incident has occurred. However, it is being shared widely on WhatsApp.

Not from Tamil Nadu

This image is not from Tamil Nadu and has nothing to do with the NEET exam which recently became a matter of controversy after examination centres were reallocated for students from Tamil Nadu.

It was clicked in New Delhi in June 2017. Anindya Chattopadhyay who is a photojournalist with Times of India took this photograph of devotees offering the Alvida Namaz (last prayer of Ramzan) at the New Delhi Railway Station which was published by Times of India on June 23, 2017. Thus, this photograph is not a recent one.

Earlier as well, this event of devotees offering namaz on a railway track was used to sow seeds of division between communities. Popular right-wing page ShankhNaad had posted this video in June 2017. It was shared more than 7000 times. It was also shared by Madhu Kishwar on her Twitter profile. In both these instances, the attempt was to create a fear psychosis by projecting a sort of religious takeover of the country by the Muslim community through this exercise.

Speaking to Alt News, Anindya Chattopadhyay confirmed that he had clicked this photograph and said, “This practice (of offering namaz) has been going on for years. I have been clicking pictures of this event for the last 5 years. Achchan Miya mosque is a very popular mosque. The practice began with muslim officials of Railways offering prayer at the mosque which lies on the railway track. Later on, other people also joined. Every year, the train is halted for 15-20 minutes to allow namaz. It has become a tradition”. Times of India had also published a video of devotees offering prayer on the railway track which lies near Achchan Mian mosque.

The issue of religious activity in public spaces has always been contentious and needs deliberation. However, in this particular case, an old picture of a tradition of offering prayer that has been practiced for years was portrayed as an act of religious aggression.

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AbidNanda KishoreAwanish SharmaAbhayVed Prakash Recent comment authors
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Ved Prakash
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Ved Prakash

Although I being a liberal still believe that the train should not be delayed for offering. The muslim community should fund and shift mosque somewhere else away from tracks. This way they can offer namaz anytime without halting train.

Rakesh Agrawal
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Rakesh Agrawal

Mr. Prakash, they were not offering any namaz, the photo was photoshopped to malign them!

Ved Prakash
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Ved Prakash

Mr. Agrawal read the article again. Only the train with NEEt students headlines is fake. But the people do offer namaz on railway tracks and train has to halted for 15-20 mins every year. I am not against any tradition or prayer. I simply want a dedicated and good place for muslims so they can pray in peace without fear and disturbance.

Abid
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Abid

Being a liberal you should rewatch the video. The track they are praying on is where a train is usually brought for maintenance. It was NOT an active track.

Use some logic, why would someone kneel down knowing that the train can run over them. You can clearly see that the trains on other tracks are operational.

Amal kumar Singha
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Amal kumar Singha

We never imagined we have to face a situation where the present reign would be resorting to malpractices to sustain their rule over the nation for a longer period . The need of the hour is to be united of all forces who think that they should be outnumbered and be they overthrown .

Anup Kumar Roy
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Anup Kumar Roy

Once in Uttar Pradesh(western UP) one of my Muslim friends expressed his surprise as I said I am Hindu. – But you are Bengali isn’t it! he said. There are Hindus (though getting fewer, communists are taking over) in Bengal as well; and there are people of all varna’s present there. Now, this regime in centre giving waking-up-call to the dozing Bengali Hindus. Vande Mataram. Jai Hind.

Nanda Kishore
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Nanda Kishore

Idiot, where are communists taking over? Communists have been beaten to a pulp by TMC. There are a lot of issues you could have highlighted or discussed, but no, you would rather be a lying pig. Clearly you don’t live in Bengal. Your false anecdote isn’t fooling anyone, you are probably also lying about having a Muslim friend. Why would anyone from UP not know that there are Bengali Hindus? Creep.

Awanish Sharma
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Awanish Sharma

if offering NAMAZ on rail track was tradition then we should change it, we can’t be doing wrong since this was happening in past, what BAKWAS logic by alt news, this is congress propaganda news, well funded by congress

Rahul
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Rahul

sharmaji, article poora padh liya karo….otherwise you’ll end up with egg on your face

Awanish Sharma
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Awanish Sharma

Read the last para “The issue of religious activity in public spaces has always been contentious and needs deliberation. However, in this particular case, an old picture of a tradition of offering prayer that has been practiced for years was portrayed as an act of religious aggression.” KUCHH BHEEE

Rakesh Agrawal
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Rakesh Agrawal

You looks lie a prejudiced bhakts as it clearly says, they were not offering namaz, clear the cobweb in your mind, then comment!

Redbaron
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Redbaron

Considering that Congress can’t even fund itself these days, it is laughable to think that they may be funding AltNews.

Abhay
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Abhay

Take care bro.. I know u r sick

MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
Guest

No excuse will suffice for this stupidity. Though the Tamil poster may be fake in this respect, it is true in another respect that if such practices are condoned, tomorrow even genuinely needy persons may be deprived of their rightful claims, facilities and necessities.

Venkatesh Emani
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Venkatesh Emani

An ad-hoc, improvised practice of offering Namaaz on a railway track with a few years provenance is bestowed with the sacred aura of tradition and is sought to be defended and encouraged. Meanwhile, as is always the case, a temple procession in Kerala with a hoary tradition going back more than a thousand years is sought to be stopped on grounds that it encroaches on secular spaces, intimidates minorities and is a great civic nuisance.
Into what country of freedom and equality are you taking us to ?

Rakesh Agrawal
Guest
Rakesh Agrawal

The right-wing commentators and blind and committed bhakts who cannot indulge in any serious debate and discussion as they are morally and intellectually bankrupt, so they restore to abuse and troll and now,they have restored to spread fake news to malign Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and women and most trains are running late up to 71 hours!
We just experienced it as our train to NJP from Anand Vihar & back was 7 hours late & nowhere anyone was offering namaz!

Anup Kumar Roy
Guest
Anup Kumar Roy

Join the discussionNo Dalits Adivasis and women are seen here. Shaagird of those Muslim leaders that hyphenate Muslim and Dalit, whenever they deliver a speech..