A lot of fake news and unverified information targeting Muslims have been circulated on the internet since the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area earlier in March.
A viral message claims that Dr Vandana Tiwari who was involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients was attacked by “Islamist Jihadis” in Uttar Pradesh last week following which she succumbed to her injuries.
The claim along with which the message is being circulated reads: “आज डां वंदना तिवारी कि मृत्यु हो गई वह पिछले हफ्ते ही UP के एक गाँव में कोरोना टेस्ट के लिए गई थी पर इस्लामिक जिहादीयों ने उन पर हमला कर गंभीर रूप से घायल कर दिया था आज उनकी मौत हो गई, भगवान इनकी आत्मा को शांति प्रदान करे। ओम शांति शांति | आखिर कब तक..... चलेगा ये जिहादियों का अत्याचार.....! (sic).” [Translation: Today, Dr Vandana Tiwari lost her life. Last week she went to a village in UP for a coronavirus test, where Islamic Jihadists attacked her following which she sustained serious injuries. May she rest in peace. How long will this torture by the Jihadis continue?]
The same message has been shared on Facebook with the same claim.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The Quint can confirm that the claim with which the message is being circulated is false. Vandana Tiwari, a pharmacist and the caretaker of the Girls Hostel at the Shivpuri Medical College, died after she suffered brain haemorrhage and not because of an attack by “Islamist Jihadis”.
WHAT WE FOUND
A Google keywords search using “Dr Vandana Tiwari Death” directed us to several news reports about the incident. A report by News18 Hindi stated that Vandana Tiwari was a pharmacist and caretaker of the girl's hostel at the Shivpuri Medical College. The report established that the cause of death was brain haemorrhage.
Since there was no mention of her visit to UP and a subsequent attack by a mob, we reached out to SP, Shivpuri, Rajesh Singh Chandel who confirmed that Vandana Tiwari worked as a pharmacist and died of brain haemorrhage at Gwalior’s Birla Hospital.
“Vandana Tiwari was working at Shivpuri Medical College as a pharmacist. On 31 March, her health deteriorated and she was referred to Birla Hospital in Gwalior on 1 April where she died of brain hemorrhage on 7 April. She was never sent to UP for any coronavirus-related test.”Rajesh Singh Chandel, SP, Shivpuri
We were also able to access a report on the incident filed by Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO), Shivpuri which corroborated the details.
Next, we got in touch with Dr Abhishek Chauhan who was handling Tiwari’s case at the Birla Hospital in Gwalior. He informed us that Vandana Tiwari was admitted to the hospital in an unconscious state on 1 April. “She died of brain haemorrhage. We also tested her blood sample for COVID-19, which turned out to be negative,” he said.
UP Police has also issued a clarification on Twitter stating that the matter pertains to Madhya Pradesh and no such case has come to light in UP.
Evidently, the pharmacist’s death owing to brain haemorrhage is being given a false communal spin.
(With inputs from SM HoaxSlayer)
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