Drowned Infant’s Image Incorrectly Shared as One From Bihar Floods
A photo of an infant’s body has been going viral on social media, with the claim that the little boy died as a result of the ongoing Bihar floods.
Many people have shared the photo on Twitter, lamenting on the tragic effects of the floods currently ravaging Bihar. Some also drew comparisons of the photo with the graphic image of a drowned Syrian refugee child, that had surfaced in 2015.
A video of the body of the child being recovered also went viral on social media. In the video, a group of people can be seen surrounding the infant’s corpse.
While the photo has not been edited in any way, the claim doing the rounds with the photo is false. The infant died after his mother attempted to kill herself and her children by jumping into a river.
On searching for reports about a drowned baby boy in Bihar, we came across a news report which suggested that the incident had occurred in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
WHAT DID WE FIND OUT?
On speaking to Santosh Kumar, a police at the Siwaipatti police station, Muzaffarpur district, The Quint was told that the boy was killed after Reena Devi, his mother and a resident of Sheetal Patti village in Muzaffarpur, got into an argument over the phone with her husband Shatrudhan Ram, who was away working as a labourer in Punjab.
According to the police, the dispute upset her and she took her four children to the nearby river Bagmati and tried to drown them in a fit of rage. Devi also tried to kill herself by jumping into the river.
Three of her children, aged five, 12 and the infant aged three months – whose photo is viral – died by drowning. Only one of the children survived the attempted drowning, which took place on 16 July.
The Quint also spoke to Alok Ranjan Ghosh, the District Magistrate of Muzaffarpur, who confirmed the incident and added that Devi’s husband, Ram, had returned from Punjab after the incident and filed an FIR against her. The DM also said that Devi has been arrested on charges of murder.
“Since this is a criminal offense, no compensation will be provided in this case,” Ghosh said, adding that there was no connection of the deaths with the Bihar floods, since the woman’s house was at a distance from the closest river and not in danger of being affected by flooding.
The Quint also independently tried to verify the reports and spoke to few local journalists, who confirmed the version of events given by the police and the DM.