With elections over, the fake news industry has switched to a different mode of operation. Crime incidents involving Hindus and Muslims are often blown out of proportion and given a communal angle by the other side. A few recent incidents have only confirmed this dangerous trend.
1) Aligarh murder
On June 2, a three-year-old girl was brutally killed in UP’s Aligarh. The horrific murder has drawn widespread condemnation and demand for justice. While some on Facebook and Twitter have sought harsh punishment of the accused, many debated whether the girl was raped before being murdered or if it was just a case of monetary revenge.
Shefali Vaidya ஷெஃபாலி வைத்யா शेफाली वैद्य
Remember this? A systematic, vicious paid campaign to malign icons sacred to Hindu Dharma that was carried out in media and SM after the #Kathua case? Where are all those people now? Why no such outrage over Mohammed Zahid raping and killing a 3 yr old Hindu girl in #AligarhShefali Vaidya ஷெஃபாலி வைத்யா शेफाली वैद्य
Where were all the people who are suddenly discovering that ‘rape has no religion’ when memes like these were being circulated demonising Hindus during the #kathua case? Where were they when placards using the words ‘DEVISTHAN’ in quotes were being publicised? #Mandsaur
The communal spin
After police revealed the names of the two accused, Zahid and Aslam, communal messages and hate speeches started to flood social media platforms. Some social media users compared the incident with the Kathua rape case and asked the other side why there has been no similar outrage.
Many users have given gory and chilling details of the crime, many of which are exaggerations, considered they haven’t been proved yet.
2) Delhi violence
On June 5, a man reportedly rammed a car into a crowd near a mosque in Delhi when devotees were leaving after offering Eid prayers. Angered by the incident, people went on a rampage, vandalising vehicles, before they were eventually dispersed.
Social media tadka
The video of the incident shows people wearing skull caps attacking a bus. It was shared widely on social media. People posted the video with a taunting message “Eid celebration”.
Since the incident took place during Eid, many made use of the occasion to portray the incident as a riot. A rumour was also spread that 17 people who attended the Eid namaaz were injured. Later, it turned out to be completely false.
3) Meerut taxi driver case
A Muslim taxi driver killed 250 passengers in a span of four months. Yes, that’s the claim doing the rounds on social media. The incident is actually 12 years old and took place in UP’s Meerut.
The communal colour
A few Facebook pages and portals published the news without mentioning the year in which the incident took place. The Geller Report, which published an article on this, says, “A Muslim man arrested on charges of murder has claimed to having killed about 250 people in the past four months, police said on Thursday, adding that the matter was being investigated.”
A verified Twitter user, Pamela Geller, who claims to be the editor-in-chief of Geller Report, shared the article from her Twitter and Facebook accounts. The message of her post reads, “Muslim Taxi Driver admits to 250 MURDERS of Non-Muslims: No media coverage. Nothing. Not even a shrug.” The post went viral.
4) Muslim man harassed
The incident of a “Muslim man being heckled and harassed in India” went viral on social media. Social media users have claimed that police were mute onlookers when the incident was taking place.
The communal angle
Sharing a post without verifying the originality of the incident, its place and date, is not uncommon; especially, if there is a slightest chance that it can be given a communal colour.
This incident of a “Muslim man being heckled and harassed in India” went viral on social media. The post has been shared more than 10,000 times. But an investigation by India Today’s Anti Fake News War Room has found out that the incident had actually taken place in Bangladesh six years back.
5) The woman with a bloody face
The photo of a woman with a bloody face has gone viral on social media with the claim that Hindu girls will meet the same fate if they marry Muslim men.
The incident, which took place in Pakistan, is being wrongfully circulated on social media as having taken place in India. The message of the post reads, “This is the fun of love jihad This girl married a Muslim guy ignoring a Hindu one.”
AFWA probed and found that the claim is completely false. It is an incident of wife-beating in Pakistan and in no way is related to ‘love jihad’ in India.