“Muslims involved in mob lynching of a juvenile thief and attack the police station, beating up the police officials” reported Dainik Jagran in Jharkhand. Dainik Jagran is a Hindi daily that has its head office in Delhi, and has a large reader base among the Hindi readers of North India.
However their attempt to spread fake news and malign the image of Muslims and incite violence has been thwarted on time by the Muslims of Jharkhand who not only boycotted the newspaper but also burnt several copies of the newspaper.
TwoCircles.net spoke to Kashif Raza Siddiqui, leader of Bahujan Kranti Morcha in Jharkhand and also a resident of Zakrinagar who was present at the police station when the crowd gathered and disbursed, to learn the facts. And this is what we learnt:
A kidnapper was caught red handed in Zakirnagar area, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand 2-3 days ago as he was taking away Talha, a seven and a half year old boy on the pretext of meeting his father. The boy’s uncle happened to cross the path of the kidnapper by good fortune and upon enquiring learnt that the boy was being kidnapped.
The kidnapper Ramesh was handed over to the police station at Azadnagar by the uncle without even scolding him. But when the local people, Muslims of Zakirnagar area learnt about the incident they gathered at the Police station and began shouting demanding to punish the culprit.
The SP and DSP had come by then and they with support from other local leaders of the community pacified the people and diffused the situation. But some mischievous person threw a small stone at the PS before going back to their homes.
“Just because the people had gathered and created noises this newspaper exaggerated and printed that the Muslims lynched the boy and beat up the police. We are naturally angry and upset at this false news. This is not the first time the Hindi dailies have printed false news about Muslims. We had sent a legal notice to Dainik Bhaskar earlier. We are yet to receive a reply to our notice.”
There are 3 Hindi dailies in circulation in Jharkhand viz., Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar and Prabhat Khabar and all of them have been leaving no stone un-turned to spread false biased news about Muslims.
Subhash Chandra Jat (City SP) Jamshedpur also spoke to the media clarifying that no violence has taken place and that the accused had been safely handed over to the PS. He was appreciative of the way Talha’s uncle and others handled the situation.
Jharkhand is also the place where Tabrez Ansari was lynched on suspicion of theft, whose death sparked a massive protest amongst the Muslims of India and reached the UN session.
“About Tabrez Ansari also, another Hindi newspaper ‘Prabhat Khabar’ published false news that Tabrez was a thief. We burnt copies of Prabhat Khabar. They have a large circulation about nearly 1.5 lakh readers. And we also warned them of legal action.”
“And now we have decided to file a case against Dainik Jagran, we will also gather to protest against the newspaper. All other organisations of Muslims, Dalits and adivasis including Bahujan Kranti Morcha to which I belong will gather and march in protest” Kashif shared.
A complaint against the newspaper has also been lodged and a FIR has been booked, he said.
Newspapers like this play an active role to communalise news and widen the gap between different communities and incite violence. But timely intervention on the part of the residents of Zakirnagar has exposed the truth.