A fact check of narrative showing how the minority community is facing the brunt of post-election hate crimes in India.
Recently The Hindu published an article to show how minorities in north India is bearing the brunt of post-election hate crimes as street thugs have taken advantage of the post-election triumphalism to stage attacks on minorities.
The Hindu has discussed two cases of Begusarai and Gurugram. In Begusarai's case, they have stressed that the man named Mohammad Qasim was shot at for being a Muslim while in Gurugram case, they claimed that Mohammed Barkat Alam was slapped for wearing a skull cap and was asked to chant “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shree Ram”, and threatened to feed pork.
In this post, we will not only discuss these two cases but all other cases which have been shared on social media to build a dangerous narrative to show how minority community is facing the brunt of post-election hate crimes.
On 25th May Swara Bhaskar tweeted "ONE DAY AFTER ELECTION RESULTS- NOT FAKE NEWS! Gau Rakshaks In MP Attack 3 For Allegedly Carrying Beef, Force Them To Say 'Jai Shri Ram'". Dhruv Rathee also tweeted about the incident to claim that Gau Rakhshaks beat innocent Muslims after Modi's victory.
According to police, the incident in question occurred on May 22 on Mandla Road in Kanhiwada area under Dunda Seoni police station limits. Police also said that the three people who were beaten up have been arrested as a possession as the sale of beef is illegal in Madhya Pradesh. All the accused were arrested too.
Clearly, the incident has no connection with the election result since it happened a day before the election result. Still, Swara Bhaskar and Dhruv Rathee linked it with the election and forgot the there is a Congress government in MP and law and order is states' affair.
What is more disheartening that their tweets are still live even after being pointed out by several users.
Read our detailed fact check on this incident:
Several mainstream media houses have reported that a Muslim man was beaten by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram on May 25 night for wearing a skull cap. The victim was told to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram.
The victim Mohammad Barkat said “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork”.
He told NDTV, "I was returning from namaz when a man came up to me and told me I was not allowed to wear my cap. I refused to remove it but then he hit the back of my head and removed it and started cursing me" He alleged that he appealed for help but no one came forward. "Then they asked me to say "Jai Shri Ram". I said, 'why should I?' and then they started hitting me and tearing my kurta".
However, after police sent the CCTV footage for examination, it emerged that the young man was stopped not by the accused but by another youth. It was also revealed that he was assaulted but neither his skull was thrown nor his shirt was torn by the accused.
Police said that after the heated argument, there was a scuffle between the youth and the man. Following which the skull cap of a Muslim youth fell, which he kept it in his pocket. However, the CCTV footage shows that the accused seems to beat Ali with a stick.
The FIR registered at City Police station does not mention that the victim was asked to chant slogans or threatened to be fed pork. Asked why those allegations were not in the FIR, the ACP said that the complainant, in his statement to the police, only mentioned that his skullcap came off during the fight. “There is no mention of any slogans or any other incident in the written statement given by the complainant,” said ACP Rajeev Yadav.
It seems the victim has given different statements to Media and Police. From the official statement of Gurugram police, several claims of the victim have been proven wrong.
Note: Since CCTV footage doesn't provide audio, it is difficult to say what was being spoken during one and half minutes incident. Since the victim is giving different statements to media and police, it is difficult to fully trust his version.
You can read our detailed fact check here
A video clip of an injured man went viral on social media with a claim that a Muslim Hawker shot at in Begusarai for his Muslim name. A Twitter user Md Asif Khan tweeted "One more hate crime against Muslim. A Muslim Hawker shot at in Begusarai, Bihar Some guy asked his name, he said "Mohd Qasim" then perpetrator said " BC tu yaha kya kar raha hai, tujhe to Pakistan mein hona chahiye" and shot fire on him. This is Modi's Hindu Rashtra 2.0".
The Hindu took his statement on face value and reported the incident with a headline "Man shot at in Begusarai after he reveals his ‘Muslim name". Several other media houses like News18 and Scroll.in referred to this report by Hindu.
However, Kundan Kumar Singh, deputy superintendent of police, Begusarai police headquarters, has denied that it is a hate crime.
“I made enquiries with the Cheriya Bariyarpur station house officer. Qasim was doing a round on his moped and sold three packets of detergent powder to Yadav on Saturday. The total amount came to Rs 110. Yadav, however, was willing to pay only Rs 100. An argument ensued and Yadav shot him,” he said.
In a series of tweets, Begusarai Police assured that the case shall be investigated thoroughly and guilty punished. The police also asked not to generalise the action of one person.
Conclusion: As per Begusarai Police, the man was shot after a fight over the price of detergent. There is no communal angle in this incident and is not a case of hate crime either.
After these 3 cases came into light, an infographic is going viral on social media to claim that three cases of lynching have been reported in three days. Several users have tweeted this infographic.
A post becomes increasingly viral on social media claiming that a Muslim boy was brutally beaten by a mob of BJP and RSS workers and forced him to chant "Jai Shri Ram". A Former Corporator of the GHMC named Amjed Ullah Khan tweeted a post with some photos claiming that "Muslim youths beaten very badly by BJP/RSS workers in Karimnagar for not saying Jai Shree Ram, there have been communal incidents happening since @bandisanjay_bjp won elections, why @cpkarimnagar is silent on such communal elements...?@TelanganaCMO @KTRTRS @KTRoffice @TelanganaDGP".
However, the Commissioner of Police VB Kamalasan Reddy responded by tweeting a video in which the boy who was attacked by a mob was seen saying that he was beaten up over personal issues and it was not a communal incident. He says it is a matter of love story. The boy has allegedly been harassing a teenage girl over the last few days.
Police also share a video in which his father confesses and apologized that there was no communal angle in this matter it was his son's fault because of which this incident took place. You can watch the video here:
Conclusion: The Muslim youth was beaten up over the personal issue of a love affair and for harassing a teenage girl. The claim that he was beaten up by a mob of BJP and RSS workers for not chanting "Jai Shree Ram" is false.
You can read the full article here:
A verified Twitter handle Prashant Kanojia who was once associated with Indian Express and The Wire tweeted a video to claim that Muslims labors were attacked by Hindutva brigade when they were having food. He called this incident a terrorist attack.
The incident happened in Bareilly, UP and Police have confirmed that only two labors were from the minority community as reported by Indo-Asian News Service.
As per the report, they were eating the meat inside a temple which made locals angry.
Four people were beaten up allegedly for eating meat inside a temple in Bareilly on 29th May. SP Rural says, "A case has been registered, all accused will be arrested shortly. Locals who thrashed them said they were eating inside a religious place."
Conclusion: The claim that Muslim labors were attacked while eating their food is misleading since only two of them are from the minority community. They were beaten by locals for eating the meat inside a temple.
Read our full article on this incident here:
On 3rd June 2019 Columnist for The Middle East Eye and The New Arab C.J. Werleman tweeted a short video of a local news channel which shows how a Muslim guy named Sajid in Jaitpur, Delhi-Badarpur Border was allegedly Mob lynched by Hindus who are Modi Supporters, beaten up by steel rods, forced fed him pork and threatened to urinate on him. In his tweet, he also claimed that "This kind of attack on Muslims has happened every day since Modi's re-election victory".
When our team looked into the matter we found that the short video of the local news channel tweeted by C.J. Werleman belongs to Hunkar 24x7. The Incident took place on 28th May 2019 and Hunkar 24x7 uploaded the video on 1st June 2019. You can watch the video here.
We got another version of the story when we contacted the police inspector of that area Inspector Anand to inform about the news being spread over this issue. Inspector Anand told us that in the FIR, there is no communal angle reported. When Sajid and his friend Gaurav was returning to home after work, two known people (mutual friends) started talking to them named Baljit and Debu. After some time they started fighting over some issue. Suddenly Gaurav ran away and a third person named Yameen joined them they dragged and dumped Sajid in an auto-rickshaw and after 1 hour 30 mins they took him to a nearby colony and thrashed him badly. He was rescued by one of his friends and handed over to his family.
If we trust police's version then there was no communal or political angle in this matter and all the story narrated by the victim to the news reporter seems to be exaggerated. Force feeding him a pig and threatening of urination over him was also a lie if we go by the police version.
In this case, 5 people were involved. One Hindu and one Muslim youth were victims while one of the accused (Yameen) is a Muslim himself which clearly shows that he was not beaten because of his religion.
Conclusion: The claim that the victim was beaten because of his religion appears to be false. There is no communal angle in the FIR and as per police accused and victims knew each other.
Read our full report on this incident here:
These were some of the cases where there was a deliberate attempt to show that hate crime against Muslims (minority) have increased since BJP led NDA government under PM Modi won the 2019 Loksabha election.
We are not denying that some stray incidents haven't happened against the minority but our media and especially the ecosystem ignores the cases against the majority community while recording hate crimes and try to build a dangerous narrative to create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety for the minority community.
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