A big crowd of migrant workers started to assemble at Bandra west railway station, Mumbai on April,14 around 3-3.30 pm. Nobody knew what happened amidst the extended lock-down implemented due to the crisis of covid-19 ? Some tv news channels broadcasted that crowd gathered on the railway station near mosque. After a while anchors started yelling why did the crowd assemble near mosque ? who called them at mosque ? Is the ‘jama masjid’ responsible for this?

screen  shot of 'abp news' and 'news nation' broadcast on april 14 on migrant workers in Mumbai
screen shot of ‘abp news’ and ‘news nation’ broadcast on april 14 on migrant workers in Mumbai

Some journalists tweeted emphasizing the word mosque. Senior journalist Rajat Sharma said in his tweet ‘’ gathering of such a large number of people outside the mosque is the matter of great concern. Who called them? Why did not they have luggage if they came to catch the train to return their homes’’

On april 14, primeminister Narendra Modi announced the extension of lockdown till May 3. In a few hours after the announcement there was mass upsurge infront of Bandra west railway station.

What is the truth?

An individual appeals to calm down or incite the crowd?

Right winger social activist and writer Shefali Vaidya posted a video on twitter in which a muslim man addressing the crowd. Shefali claimed in her caption ‘’ another tabligi Jamat virus moment’’

In the 45 seconds video clip, man says ‘’ we know there is problem,we can understand but its all wish of Allah, we have to bear this. We know that your family is not here, but it is matter of time, this shall pass too. Whole world is facing the problem. Mosque and churches had to close. ‘Kaba’ had to close. What is more important than this.’’ According to police the man was roped in to make people understand.

Why did the name of mosque crop up?

We would like to tell you that that the Bandra west railway station is round the corner to ‘Sunni jama masjid’. Both are adjacent to each other. You can see this in the image below.

An image of migrant labors at bandra west ralway station, sunni masjid , mumbai on april,14,2020 (cortsy pti)
An image of migrant labors at bandra west ralway station, sunni masjid , mumbai on april,14,2020 (cortsy pti)

According to google map the distance between the too can be travelled in a minute. See the more clear picture below.

Sunni jama masjid and bandra west railway station, mumbai
Sunni jama masjid and bandra west railway station, mumbai (ref)

Therefore , the claim that crowd gathered at masjid is factually not correct. The police has also ruled out any communal angle in the incident.

Migrant labours led by rumour

Mumbai police officials told us that they were migrant labors who lived in tiny rooms nearby. They wanted to return their homes as they have no work since lock down being implemented. Some miscreants rumored that the service of trains resumed. Police has arrested some people on the charges of spreading rumours. One arrested person Vinay Dubey allegedly posted a misleading video on social media. In the video he could be seen appealing that he will manage their home return. Apart from that a correspondent of regional news channel has also been arrested for running allegedly misleading news report of train services on the channel. Later he was given bail by the court. However he ran the story on the basis of railway’s internal proposal.  The railway has come up with a clarification through a tweet.

We have also analysed the report of newspapers in which no communal angle was cited. Indian express wrote migrant workers violated the lockdown to return their homes. Later abp news in its face book live broadcasted an entirely opposite angle in which channel says that there was no hindu-muslim or masjid issue in the story.

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Geplaatst door ABP News op Dinsdag 14 april 2020


In our investigation there is no communal angle in the story of migrant workers gathered at Bandra west railway station.