A student leader of National Students Union of India (NSUI) – the students body of the Congress party – on Friday took to twitter to express support for a Muslim cleric who has been accused of raping a 10 year old girl.
As reported earlier, the girl had gone missing from her home in Mayur Vihar in Delhi on 21 April, a couple of days after her family shifted there from Ghaziabad. Later a manhunt was launched by the Delhi police who subsequently rescued her from a Madrasa in Ghaziabad’s Arthala region.
During the raid, the police also arrested a Muslim cleric who earlier was believed to have been her neighbour. The authorities also arrested a madrasa student. Subsequent reports have claimed that the girl was also allegedly raped by the Muslim cleric and his associate student.
This incident which subsequently didn’t find much space, both in the media and the hearts of the so-called activists, took a shocking turn when it was observed that Islamist trolls had taken to social media to demand that she be married off to her rapist.
In the said social media posts it was observed that they resorted to calling the rape a ‘love affair’ and are demanding that the victim — a minor not even in her teenage — be married off to the rapist.
Shockingly Islamist trolls might not be the only ones peddling this angle, and as per screenshots provided by a BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga, an alleged NSUI leader named Gaurav Bharti too has made such a demand.
This is the now deleted tweet which was sent from the handle named @gauravnsui on Friday evening:
In the above tweet, Bhati sickeningly claims that the 10 year old minor herself wished to marry the accused named Sahbaz and called the whole incident as a fraud. He later topped it up by calling the poor girl his sister-in-law, to further his insinuation that she be married off to her rapist.
Bagga also attached the profile of the said NSUI leader, where he seems to be a state social media coordinator from Uttarakhand:
For the brief amount of time when the controversial tweet was up, it was picked up and condemned by various social media users:
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) April 27, 2018
— Maithun Thala (@Being_Humor) April 27, 2018
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) April 27, 2018
In a further twist to the tale, the said twitter handle @gauravnsui doesn’t exist on twitter anymore and a handle named @Gauravbhrtinsui which is identical to the previous one in all other aspects, is claiming that the tweet was sent from his fake ID:
This is a my fake id pic.twitter.com/bVyKkSuG9u
— Gaurav Bharti NSUI (@Gauravbhrtinsui) April 27, 2018
Even if one takes him at face value, it can be noticed that the handle which sent the initial tweet and the one quoted by the supposedly real Bharti are different. This raises the question whether the NSUI leader proceeded to change his twitter id soon after getting cornered so that he can use the “fake account” defence.
Incidentally a similar claim has been made by a twitter user, who accuses the NSUI leader of using the same tactic in the past:
@gauravnsui deleted initial tweet,changed username to @GauravNSUILove &apologized,
but nextday he created another id with same old username @gauravnsui -tweeted the same old tweet&now absolving himself by claiming ‘that tweet’ was from fake id pic.twitter.com/oVnQezr5Qz
— うちはイタチ (@balbnker) April 28, 2018
It should be noted that this tactics to disown the tweet or claim it is fake is an old Congress tactic. Earlier congress supporter Tehseen Poonawala had similarly claimed fake tweet after his obscene tweet was shown on national television by BJP leader Smriti Irani.
It is also intriguing as to how this support for rapist and sickening comments about the girl landed up in groups that are supporting Congress. Many identical tweets have been posted by users who also tweet and re-tweet anti-BJP and pro-Congress messages on Twitter.
Meanwhile the mainstream media has religiously ignored such messages — mostly coming from Islamist and pro-Congress handles — in support of the rapists, while they had branded everyone in Kathua as ‘pro-rapist’ who had demanded a CBI inquiry.