Fact Check: 2013 Image of Kolkata Slum Falsely Linked to Ongoing Haldwani Encroachment Drive

The Supreme Court of India on January 5, 2022 had stayed the decision of the Uttarakhand High Court to remove encroachments from the railway land in Haldwani. Since then, people of Haldwani have taken to the streets to protest the decision. While there is also a section of the crowd supporting the decision on the back of illegal encroachments made on government property.

Against this backdrop, a viral picture showing a railway track with houses around it and people roaming freely on the tracks is making the rounds on social media. Many users are sharing the image claiming it to be from Haldwani. 

A Facebook user posted the viral picture with a caption: This is what the Supreme Court has legitimised today.. #HaldwaniEncroachment

You can check the post here.


NewsMobile fact-checked the viral picture, and found it to be false.

Running a Reverse Image Search of the viral picture, we found an ABC news article, dated January 18, 2016 and titled: Richest 62 People Control Same Wealth as Poorest Half of World’s Population, Report States. 

The image in the article matches exactly with the viral picture and its description informs that it is from a slum on railway tracks in Kolkata, India. The credits are given to Samir Hussein and the original source is stated to be Getty Images an American visual media company and a supplier of stock images. 

We found the same picture published on the official profile of Getty images on Pinterest. Here too, the description informs that the picture is from Kolkata. 

Also, the website of Getty Images, dated December 12, 2013 carries the same image by Samir Hussein, confirming that the picture is from Kolkata, not Haldwani.

Therefore, we can conclusively say that the viral image linking it to the ongoing encroachment drive in Haldwani is false.

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