Old video of a boy placing stones on a train track shared with false, communal claims

By: Ankita Kulkarni
June 8 2023

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Old video of a boy placing stones on a train track shared with false, communal claims


The Verdict False

The video was taken in Karnataka in 2018 when a boy had placed stones on the railway track while playing. There is no communal angle to the incident.

Claim ID 45ebdaf7

The spread of misleading communal claims has been on the rise in India in recent years. The recent triple-train collision in Odisha, which saw the death of nearly 280 people, also became the target of many sectarian claims. In light of the tragedy, a video showing two men confronting a young boy near a railway track is going viral on social media. The boy appears to be accused of placing stones on a long stretch of the train track, and is later instructed to remove each stone off the track. Sharing this video, one such post on Twitter wrote, “This video is from Karnataka. Such kids are being used by the Jihadis to cause derailment.” The post has over 115,500 views. Another post claimed, “Shocking: Another #TrainAccident Averted. An underage boy was caught sabotaging the railway Track this time in #Karnataka.” This post has received over 1.4 million views on Twitter alone. Several social media users have also shared the same video linking to the Odisha train crash, while some have been calling out Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to take action against the incident.

In Fact
A reverse image search using a screenshot from the video led us to a Facebook video posted by a an account called ‘Kahi na Kahi’ on May 12, 2018. This shows that the video has been on the internet for at least five years and is not of a recent incident.

The language spoken in the video is Kannada and appears to be spoken in an accent that is common to the north Karnataka region, which includes the districts of Raichur, Kalaburagi, Bidar, and Vijayapur. Several comments under one social media post sharing the video also said the video is from Kalaburagi district.

Logically Facts contacted P Kumar, a Railway Police Force (RPF) inspector from Kalaburagi, who confirmed that the video is five years old and was taken in the district. He said, “The two trackmen seen in the video are Gopal and Rajkumar. They captured the video in 2018 when they confronted a young boy, who must be 12 or 13 years old at that time. He was from a nearby slum area and had placed stones on the railway track while playing.” He added, “The trackmen on duty scolded the boy and asked him to remove the stones. He was later let off without any case being registered.” 

Kumar also confirmed to Logically Facts that there was no communal angle to the story, and both the trackmen still work at the Kalaburgi railway station. He also clarified that no accidents or mishaps were caused because of the child’s actions. 

Kumar also shared a video of one of the trackmen seen in the viral clip. In the video, Rajkumar explains in Hindi that the viral video is five to six years old and not recent. He says that when he and his colleague confronted the boy for placing the stones on the railway track, the child accepted that he was only playing with the stones when he placed them on the tracks and that he did not intend to harm anyone. This proves that the video is old and is being maliciously shared with a communal spin.

The Verdict
A five-year-old video of a young boy placing stones on a railway track while playing has been falsely shared with false narratives and communal angles. The claims of “another #TrainAccident” being averted recently in Karnataka or a “Jihadi” plot being the cause of derailments are false. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before