A teenage girl was allegedly kidnapped by four men, Saleem, Aslam, Akram and Ayub, in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffaranagar and gang raped for ten days. It was also reported that the girl was forced to eat meat and given drugs while she was repeatedly raped for ten days. A Twitter user tweeted the details and Muzaffarnagar Police’s Twitter handle refuted the claims of the girl being forced to eat meat.
उक्त के सम्बन्ध में क्षेत्राधिकारी भोपा की जाच्खायानुसार जबरन मांस खिलाने की खबर मिथ्या प्रकाशित की गई है इस तरह कोई घटना घटित नहीं हुई है
— muzaffarnagar police (@muzafarnagarpol) September 19, 2017
Meanwhile, so-called fake news busters and liberals on Twitter latched on to the response by Muzaffarnagar Police and ganged up against the Twitter user for ‘spreading rumours’.
— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) September 19, 2017
Suddenly, the focus went on to the fact that the four men mentioned in the tweet were accused of rape of a girl to the fact that the person who posted the ‘rumour’ was followed by the Prime Minister. This overlooks the fact that it was reported in news that the victim was forced to eat meat by her perpetrators.
Soon Aam Aadmi Party’s mouthpiece Janta Ka Reported developed a story on how Anshul, the Twitter user, was followed by the Prime Minister, instead of focusing on the fact that he tweeted about a girl being allegedly raped by four men.
SHOCKING! Man followed by PM Modi caught spreading lies, this time on Muzaffarnagar’s alleged gang-rape incident https://t.co/n0GsL01YTO
— Janta Ka Reporter (@JantaKaReporter) September 20, 2017
Please not that in the tweets, Muzzaffarnagar Police has not denied allegations of rape. They have denied the allegation that the girl was forced to eat meat.
Soon, they got called out for making being followed by PM Modi a bigger issue than the fact that a girl was allegedly raped by four men.
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) September 20, 2017
So many allegedly-s used in this article by alleged news site. To JKR, rape is less important than ‘alleged’ lie by someone followed by Modi https://t.co/RwXTAW8v7P
— AristocRatty (@YearOfRat) September 20, 2017
Jhandu Reporter ignored reports by several media houses and goes after a guy just coz Modi follows him. If this isn’t propaganda,what is it? pic.twitter.com/WiFyi9qoo8
— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) September 20, 2017
Indian mainstream media has displaced sense of importance and gravity of news on what should be focused on while reporting a story. The ideological wars have often seen private citizens, especially those considered to be right-leaning, as being the cannon fodder.