How HuffPost tried to incite communal feelings by twisting a news report

On Friday, the India website of Huffington Post (now re-branded as HuffPost) came out with an article which was headlined “Three Muslim Cattle Traders Killed By Mob In Jharkhand On Suspicion Of Kidnapping Local Children”:

Communal color given by HuffPo India

The headline clearly tried to insinuate as if the religious and professional identity of the lynched men had some connection with the unfortunate incident where a frenzied mob became bloodthirsty.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

What drilled home home the point further is that Indian media recently has been focusing a lot on alleged incidents of cow vigilantism. The article mentioned incidents of cow vigilantism in the body, even though the incident had got nothing to do with it even by the article’s own account.

This headline was enough for the rogue elements in the mainstream media, who have been regularly found guilty of spreading lies, to indulge in further fear mongering:

Now that the propagandists have spoken, let facts speak up.

According to reports, two such incidents of lynching were reported on Thursday. In the 1st incident on Thursday morning, the three Muslims plus another of their associate named Sheikh Halim whose body was found on Friday were killed by mobs in tribal dominated area of Rajnagar near Jamshedpur after rumours of child lifting gangs spread in the area.

The second incident was reported from a nearby area of Bagpeda where Gautam Verma, his brother Vikash Verma and friend Gangesh Gupta were beaten to death by a similar mob after reportedly being accused of being child lifters as they were returning back to Jamshedpur in their car. Reportedly there were five persons in the car including their elder brother Uttam Verma who suffered serious injuries and their 80 year old grandmother who had to watch the whole ordeal.

Uttam while speaking to media persons in a Jamshedpur hospital claimed that they were just in the area to identify spots to put up hoardings of the Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan as they had started a toilet installation business. Uttam also claimed that the police had reached the spot as the mob was getting aggressive but did nothing to stop the attack.

So going by the reports there was no such ‘communal’ flareup which had prompted the attack. Even the police denied any religious angle in the lynching. Both Hindus and Muslims had died in such incidents, but HuffPost decided to ignore the death of Hindus and focus only on the Muslims.

This fact later (this morning) acknowledged by HuffPost which proceeded to change the heading to:

6 People Killed By Mob In Jharkhand On Suspicion Of Kidnapping Local Children

They also issued a clarification that:

An earlier version of this story, which said three Muslim cattle traders were lynched by a mob, has been updated with the latest details.

But the damage was already done before the article was edited. It was already spread on the social media as another cow related attack on Muslims in a BJP ruled state.

What is extremely unfortunate is the fact that the very serious matter of a frenzied mob going on a murder spree based only on rumours was provided a communal colour by a section of the media without addressing the grave issues at hand.

This isn’t the first time such lynching incidents have come to light from that area. Reportedly two men were killed under similar circumstances on May 12th and 13th in the nearby Jadugora and Asanboni areas, again suspected of indulged in child trafficking.

Jharkhand has since long been reported to have been one of the biggest victims of human trafficking. According to this report from 2015, around 4000 children have gone missing from the state in the last 10 years and 1000 of them hadn’t been traced until then. It was also reported that a massive 42,000 girls have also been trafficked from Jharkhand to various metropolitan cities in India.

With two grave issues at hand – human trafficking and mob justice – all some journalists could focus was on religion. With such communal spins becoming more routine, one wonders if there is an organised attempt to incite communal riots in the country for petty political and ideological gains.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Activist opposing Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract thinks ‘Brahmins obstruct India’s development’

The Akshaya Patra has come under criticism recently for not including onion and garlic in its mid-day meals for school children.

Mumbai Police teaches a lesson in humility to ‘special’ Sonam Kapoor

Actor Dulquer Salman clarified that he and Sonam were sitting inside a car that was rigged to a truck and hence were not breaking traffic rules.

Uttar Pradesh: Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Bahraich with arms and ammunition

The smugglers even tried to trample the police personnel with their vehicle.

Church of South India Archbishop Dyvasirvadam arrested in church fund scam, reports Times of India

According to the report, archbishop Dyvasirvadam was allegedly involved in misappropriation of church fund for over a decade

Rafale: SC examined the pricing details closely, ‘did not rely’ on CAG report as claimed by Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale was based only on the CAG report, while it is not true

Double whammy for Congress in court: After Rafale verdict, Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as special director gets SC approval

The Supreme Court's verdict is being seen as the second major embarrassment for both the Congress party and Prashant Bhushan, as the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a plea on the issue of a probe concerning the Rafale deal.

Congress friendly journalist wishes death upon BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga

During the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections last year, Trivedi was caught spreading morphed images with Amit Shah's fake quotes on Patidars

Pro-Congress troll resumes fake news website, makes outlandish claims on Rafale targeting Modi

Abhishek Mishra has been associated with the website which spreads fake news and Islamist propaganda

Rafale: They wanted to pull Modi down to their level

The Congress and its ecosystem is strong and well oiled.
Modi government vindicated, SC says Rafale Deal clean

SC verdict on Rafale deal: Read scathing comments made by Court while dismissing petitions for inquiry

Supreme Court dismissed petitions for an enquiry into Rafale deal pricing, offset partner selection and procurement procedure. Read scathing observations

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,686FansLike
98,016FollowersFollow
6,133SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these