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Amritsar train mishap: Fake news on 'Muslim' driver circulated on social media; news agency shares misleading 'eyewitness' account

Following the Amritsar train tragedy, in which at least 61 people lost their lives during Dussehra celebrations on Friday, a number of false and misleading claims have been made by Twitter users and a mainstream media outlet.

One of the false claims being circulated on social media is to do with — no surprises here — the religion of the driver. Many people posted tweets saying the driver of the train involved in the accident was a man named Imtiaz Ali, by implication, a Muslim.

Others claimed that the driver's name was Imtiaz Khan, not Ali.

In response to this comment, when another Twitter user pointed that this was not the driver's actual name, Tripathi said, "U could have ignored it. (sic)"

The driver of the train involved in the Amritsar tragedy is Arvind Kumar.

In another instance, news agency ANI had, on Friday, tweeted a video of a person commenting on the train accident and described him as an eyewitness. Later, the agency clarified that the person was BJP spokesperson Rajesh Honey, saying he was present at the spot when the accident took place. However, Honey himself posted a tweet on the day after the Amritsar tragedy, saying he had reached the spot 20 minutes after the train ran over revellers at Amritsar's Joda Phatak. 

The Congress has not held back on its criticism of the Railways, accusing it of shirking responsibility. After visiting the site of the accident at Joda Phatak on Friday, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had absolved the railways of all responsibility and ruled out any action against the driver of the train and an investigation into the incident.

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Updated Date: Oct 22, 2018 18:44:23 IST

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