Hyderabad: On February 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off IRCTC’s third private train, the Varanasi-Indore-Kashi Mahakal Express. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a few pictures of the train and said it will have a clean and hygienic pantry to provide good quality vegetarian food to the passengers. He also said that facilities like bedrolls, housekeeping, and travel insurance will be available on this train.
Take a look at the newly inaugurated Kashi Mahakal Express, with its clean & hygienic pantry for providing high quality vegetarian food to passengers.
Also, facilities such as bedrolls, houskeeping and travel insurance is going to make the journey convenient & pleasant for all. pic.twitter.com/KbTkxSQ8rK
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 16, 2020
ANI UP, a news agency, has posted some pictures on Twitter along with a tweet that said seat number 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express has been turned into a Lord Shiva temple. The news agency tweeted, “Railway officials say that efforts will be made to keep the seat number 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore), reserved for Lord Shiva. The seat has been turned into a mini-temple of Lord Shiva.”
The tweet has gone viral on social media with a few people questioning the action, while others are celebrating the decision. AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi shared the tweet along with India’s Preamble and tagged Mr Modi in the tweet.
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) February 17, 2020
Some users shared the tweet with claims such as “Now the Railway Ministry has introduced a mini temple inside a train! This picture is from seat 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express. As if religious conflicts on land were not enough, now they want riots inside trains.”
Now the Railway Ministry has introduced a mini temple inside a train!
This picture is from seat 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express. As if religious conflicts on land were not enough, now they want riots inside trains. pic.twitter.com/EAUFoGUZZS
— Gabbar 🐯 | 🐯 گبّر (@Gabbar0099) February 17, 2020
A few even celebrated this decision on Facebook.
News media like Times of India and Navbharat Times published the articles on 17 February.
On 17 February, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism (IRCTC) clarified through ANI UP that for the inaugural run the train staff had temporarily put up photos of Lord Shiva on a berth to do “pooja” and seek blessings for the success of the new project. It is meant only for the inaugural run and is a one-time affair, it said. It also clarified that there will be no reserved or dedicated berth on the train when it starts running from 20 February.
IRCTC: There is going to be no such reserved or dedicated berth for this purpose in the commercial run of the train which is starting from 20th February 2020. https://t.co/r3QZswuEC7
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 17, 2020
Therefore, the claim that berth number 65 in coach B2 of Mahakal Express has been reserved for Lord Shiva and has been turned into a temple is FALSE. The staff decorated the berth with Lord Shiva’s pictures for the inaugural run only.