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OKHLATIMES.COM nails fake news on Batla House

After the blaze that gutted several jhuggis in Dhobi Ghat of Batla House on Tuesday, words started spreading in the locality with residents lamenting about the unfortunate incident.

A message surfaced on a local WhatsApp group in which a self-proclaimed activist narrated the incident and claimed that three children were burned to death in the fire that destroyed about 68 jhuggis in Dhobi Ghat.

“जब हम वहां पहुंचे तो पता चला के तीन मासूम बच्चे जल कर राख हो गये। बकरियां, मुर्गियां ,ठेला रिक्शा और रिक्शा जो उन गरीबों की आमदनी का जरिया थे जल कर राख हुए पड़े थे। सबसे दर्दनाक मंजर वो के बच्चे स्कुल से वापस आये और अपने जले हुए घर देख रोये और एक तरफ सहम कर बैठ गये। जिनके घर जले उनमे से बहुत से लोग काम पर गये हुए थे वापस आकर अपने आशियानों को उजड़ा हुआ देखा।” wrote the person without verifying the report.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: Fire breaks out at Batla House; fire tenders on spot

As OT.COM was following the development, it tried to find out about the source of the message from another resident who had shared the post.

When challenged with data, the person relented and assured to get back with details. The resident apologized for sharing the fake news on the group. He later told OT.COM over phone that actually when he questioned that respectable person, who originally had posted the message in another group that is run by another respectable person, the person was not able to give right answer.

Later OT.COM visited the spot for the next day once again to interact with the residents to make sure if anything like this happened. Several residents and local leaders assembled at Dhobi Ghat on Wednesday denied such things, claiming that only items and jhuggis were destroyed.

Md Naseem, a resident whose jhuggi was destroyed in the fire, told OT.COM that as it was morning everybody ran out of the jhuggis with their belongings.

They are lucky as nobody was injured just think had it happened in the night things would have been more worst, said residents, who were talking among them after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal left the area after visiting them in the morning.

“There were no casualties and residents were lucky. After coming to know about the fire we rushed to the spot and made sure that the fire doesn’t spread further. Many residents were using water to douse the fire as fire tenders came late,” said local leader Mahmood Ahmed, who had been camping in the locality for the last many hours and was there on Tuesday also when fire had spread.

On being informed that words are doing the rounds that three children died, he termed the report as false and said people don’t come to spot and just write whatever they wish.

Fake news has turned out to be a big issue across the world. And the social media too has launched a campaign to identify them.

Very recently, an independent journalist in Ghaffar Manzil Bilal Zaidi organised a workshop for elderly about how to identify fake news on WhatsApp.

As rumours spread fast through WhatsApp, many people use it to spread fake news with many people falling to it and share it widely without verifying it or counter checking it about the source.

And this latest incident of Dhobi Ghat is just the tip of the iceberg.

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