A disturbing image showing a man carrying his wife's body home on a motorbike in Bihar's Purnia in 2017 has been shared with false claims that it shows the impact of second wave of COVID-19 in Gujarat.
The image shows a man on a motorbike as a pillion rider holds a woman's body.
The image has been shared in the backdrop of the catastrophic second wave of COVID-19 virus in India. India is amidst one of the biggest health crises in decades with the impact of the pandemic visible across the country with bodies piling up in crematoriums and long queues of ambulances outside hospitals. Around 15 countries including the US, Russia, France and the United Kingdom are rushing critical emergency use equipment to enable India counter the deadly second wave.
The viral image has been shared with a Bangla caption which reads, "Son accompanied with father carried his mother's corpse. Gift of golden Gujarat. Fekuji's gift and they will make golden Bengal. Shame. Shame. (Mamata is pride of humanity)"
(Original text in Bangla: "বাবা আর ছেলে মিলে মায়ের মৃতদেহ বহন করে নিয়ে যাচ্ছে - সোনার গুজরাট তোফা ফেকুজী তোফা এনারা আবার সোনা বাংলা করবে। ছিঃ ছিঃ ধিক্কার (মানবতার গর্ব মমতা)।'')
Warning: Disturbing Image
The image is being shared with a Hindi caption on Twitter which reads, "Digital India with bullet train. Modi is devil, suffering of farmers. No oxygen, no vote."
Original text in Hindi: "बूलेट ट्रेन" वाला डिजिटल इंडिया... #मोदी_शैतान_भुगतें_किसान #No_Oxygen_No_Vote"
The tweet is archived here.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on the photograph and found a news report published on Hindustan Times dated June 4, 2017 featuring the same image. The incident happened in Bihar's Purnia where a man and his son had to carry his wife's body home because they were denied a mortuary van.
An excerpt of the report reads, "Both father Shankar Shah and son Pappu are wage labourers and were working in Punjab when they were informed that Susheela had taken ill. They rushed back and got her admitted to the Purnia Sadar hospital, where she died of her illness. "After the death of my wife I was told to take away the body and when I requested the medical staff on duty for a vehicle, to carry it back to my village, they told me to arrange for it on my own," said Shah. They approached a driver of an ambulance, who demanded Rs 2,500, which they could not able to afford.
Pappu then placed Susheela's body on a motorcycle, with Shah himself holding it as pillion rider, to transport it to their village home.
You can read the Asian Age and Indian Express's report about the incident here and here. While this viral image is from 2017, a similar incident occurred in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam, where a woman's body was carried on a motorcycle as ambulances refused to carry her body. Read here and here.
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