On Tuesday afternoon, more than 1000 migrant workers flooded the Bandra west railway station in Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai over rumours of resumption of railway services. Just before the incident, a Marathi news channel, ABP Majha, had reported that train services will resume to ferry migrants to their hometown from April 14. But, it turned out to be a false news.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra police detained ABP Majha reporter Rahul Kulkarni from his home town Osmanabad for allegedly spreading fake news. The channel is yet to issue clarification on the same.
He has been booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and 269, 270 (negligent, malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 117 (abetting commission of offence by public).
The Railway Ministry has also clarified that the trains won’t resume till May 3. Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik had also tweeted the story reported by ABP Majha and had said it can’t be ruled out that the channels’ report might have triggered the massive crowd at Bandra railway station.
When the new first broke, many political leaders had taken to Twitter and appealed to Mumbai Police to take action against those spreading rumours. Yuva Sena leader Varun Sardesai tweeted saying, "Request you to take stern steps against all those spreading rumours, misinformation and causing panic."
While talking to Newslaundry.com, Rahul Kulkarni said that he stands by his report aired at 9 am before Prime Minister's speech. He told the news portal, "My report was based on a circular issued by the office of the chief commercial manager, Ministry of Railways.”
He also had shared a circular on Twitter, which was issued by Telangana’s office of the chief commercial manager. The circular says that a proposal has been mooted to run special train services to help stranded migrants. The circular doesn’t mention any specific date or time period.
Earlier, Vinay Dubey was detained by police in neighbouring Navi Mumbai over messages on his social media accounts which may have contributed to the gathering of a large number of migrant workers in suburban Bandra on Tuesday afternoon
More than 1,000 migrant workers, most of them from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, gathered near Bandra railway station here on Tuesday afternoon. They were demanding that the state government make transport arrangements so that they can go back to their native towns and villages.