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HomeFact CheckCropped Image Of ISKCON Temple Near Odisha Train Accident Site Viral With...

Cropped Image Of ISKCON Temple Near Odisha Train Accident Site Viral With False Claim

Authors

An enthusiastic journalist, researcher and fact-checker, Shubham believes in maintaining the sanctity of facts and wants to create awareness about misinformation and its perils. Shubham has studied Mathematics at the Banaras Hindu University and holds a diploma in Hindi Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. He has worked in The Print, UNI and Inshorts before joining Newschecker.

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
The multi-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore that claimed at least 275 lives happened near a mosque.

Fact
The structure identified as a mosque in the viral image is actually an ISKCON temple. 

At least 275 people were killed in the tragic multi-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore last week. Social media platforms have since been flooded with unverified visuals from the accident site, and the hospitals treating the injured. One such image, allegedly showing a mosque near the accident site, has gone viral with users giving a communal tint to the train mishap. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue. Though the image is from the accident site, the structure seen is an ISKCON temple and not a mosque as was widely claimed.

A day after the collision, Twitter user @Randomsena shared the viral image pointing out a building adjacent to the accident location with the caption, “Just Saying Yesterday Was Friday.” Thereby insinuating a particular community’s links to the accident. The tweet, which has since been deleted, was retweeted over 4,000 times. Multiple other social media users shared the image claiming that the three-way train accident took place near a mosque on a Friday. 

Such posts can be seen here, here, here and here.

Newschecker also received the viral image on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044) requesting to be fact checked.

Also Read: 2018 Incident Of Udupi Man Averting Train Accident Falsely Linked To Odisha Tragedy

Fact Check/Verification

A reverse search on the viral image led us to photographs from the accident site by Reuters and Associated Press, showing clearly the structure claimed to be a mosque. On analysing the photographs, we spotted a ‘Shikhara’ (peak- the topmost part of a temple) on the top of the structure, suggesting that it might be a temple. 

We then reached out to a PTI correspondent reporting from ground, Sufiyan who told us that the structure seen in the viral image was “the ISKCON temple located in  Bahanaga Bazar, Balasore.”

Following this, we located the ISKCON temple at Bahanaga Bazar in Balasore on Google Maps and found its distance from the railway tracks, direction, and location  to be the same as that of the structure seen in the viral video. 

Odisha Train Accident Site
(L-R) Viral image and screengrab of ISKCON temple from Google Maps

Newschecker also reached out to a shop owner in Bahanaga Bazar, Sanjib who further clarified that the structure seen in the viral image was indeed ISKCON temple. He told us, “The temple is 50 metres from our shop, and around 50-100 metres from the accident site. Construction work has been going on in the temple for the past few months.” Sanjob also shared a few images of the temple with Newschecker. The same can be seen below. 

Images of ISKCON temple shared by Sanjib with Newschecker

We further contacted the temple administration who confirmed that the viral image indeed features the ISKCON temple. 

Journalist Manogya Loiwal also shared a video of the ISKCON temple near the Balasore accident site that has been identified as a mosque by multiple social media users. The same can be seen here.

Also Read: What’s The Truth Behind Viral Video Allegedly Showing ‘Medicine Jihad’?

Odisha Police: Action On Those Trying To Spread Communal Disharmony 

Notably, the Odisha Police has warned social media handles who are “mischievously giving communal colour to the tragic train accident at Balasore.” In a series of tweets on June 4, 2023, the Odisha Police said, “It has come to notice that some social media handles are mischievously giving communal colour to the tragic train accident at Balasore. This is highly unfortunate. Investigation by the GRP, Odisha into the cause and all other aspects of the accident is going on. “

 Adding, “We appeal to all concerned to desist from circulating such false and ill-motivated posts. Severe legal action will be initiated against those who are trying to create communal disharmony by spreading rumours.”

Also Read: Photo Of Man Carrying Mannequin in Egypt Goes Viral With False Communal Claim

Conclusion

Viral post claiming to show a mosque near the multi-train collision site in Odisha’s Balasore is false. The viral image actually shows a temple. 

Result: False

Sources
Photographs From Odisha Train Accident Site By Reuters & Associated Press
Google Maps
Telephonic Conversation With PTI Correspondent Sufiyan
Telephonic Conversation With Shop Owner In Bahanaga Bazar Sanjib
Correspondence With ISKCON Temple, Bahanaga Bazar Administration


If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback, or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.

Authors

An enthusiastic journalist, researcher and fact-checker, Shubham believes in maintaining the sanctity of facts and wants to create awareness about misinformation and its perils. Shubham has studied Mathematics at the Banaras Hindu University and holds a diploma in Hindi Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. He has worked in The Print, UNI and Inshorts before joining Newschecker.

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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