(The article was originally published in Newschecker Bengali)
Vande Barat Express has been attacked twice since it was flagged off in West Bengal last week. Stones were reportedly pelted at the train once in Malda district and another time near New Jalpaiguri. Though CM Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the stones were hurled at Vande Bharat Express in neighbouring Bihar, and not her state, social media users were quick to target the West Bengal administration while sharing the images of a damaged train.
In this context, a set of images showing glass pieces from a broken window pane scattered on the floor and seats of a train compartment are going viral on social media platforms. In addition, a picture showing an injured passenger with a bandage near his nose is also being shared online. Those who shared these images claim it shows the damage sustained by Vande Bharat Express and its passengers due to recent stone pelting. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several Facebook and Twitter users shared the pictures.
Links to such posts can be found here, here, here, here and here.
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On analysing the viral pictures, we noticed that the interiors of the train coach seen in the images was different from that of the Vande Bharat Express. Further, we came across a Facebook post by BJP Leader Dilip Ghosh, dated January 3, 2023, carrying a collage featuring pictures of Vande Bharat Express and Purulia Express.
The post stated (translated from Bengali), “Purulia Express and Bande Bharat Express were attacked on the same day in West Bengal, stones were pelted. Who are these stone pelters? Who wants to destroy the country’s property? Those who do this don’t want the good of West Bengal, they even want the loss of the country.”
Additionally, we found a Facebook post on page @puruliapicture2015, dated January 2, 2023, featuring the viral images of glass pieces scattered inside a train compartment and an injured boy. The post authored by one Pranabesh Sen stated (translated from Bengali), “… I have heard gossip of stone pelting in trains. I witnessed this accident on the first day of the year. It’s better to say crime and mismanagement instead of accidents. Purulia Express (12827), Coach number D3, Passenger seat number 73. The 30-year-old boy was sleeping in the window seat, train was running, before crossing Panskura at 5:48 pm, suddenly the window glass broke on his face, body. Someone threw stones from outside and broke glass. The boy was going to Purulia on Monday to attend work in the programme. The boy’s mouth has started flooding with blood…”
News outlet Republic Bangla also did a report on the incident which was streamed on their official YouTube channel on January 3, 2023. The description of the video read, “Purulia Express News LIVE. Not only the Vande Bharat Express, but also the Purulia Express at Panskura on the first day of the year. The window panes of room D3 were broken by stones. Panicked passengers on social media.”
Viral pictures showing glass pieces scattered on the floor and seats of a train’s compartment are not linked to the recent attack on Vande Bharat Express in Bengal.
Facebook Post By Dilip Ghosh, Dated January 3, 2023
Facebook Post By @www.puruliapicture2015, Dated January 2, 2023
YouTube Video By Republic Bangla, Dated January 3, 2023
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