A complaint has been filed against the Caravan magazine and journalist Ajaz Ashraf in the National Commission for Scheduled Caste in relation to an article published by the magazine which highlighted the castes of the CRPF soldiers martyred in the Pulwama terrorist attack. The complaint has been filed by Satish Vaid, head of the SC and ST Cell of Agniveer, an organisation committed to promoting the Vedic Dharma.
Head – SC ST Cell, Agniveer @VaidSatish has filed a formal complaint to National Commission for Scheduled Caste against an article written by Ajaz Ashraf and published in Caravan Magazine on 21.2.2019 on castes of slain jawans in Pulwama attack. pic.twitter.com/vyv5ZHwZfC
— Bhim Agniveer (@BhimAgniveer) February 22, 2019
The complaint mentions how the article titled “Urban upper castes driving Hindutva nationalism have little representation among Pulwama’s slain jawans” written by Ajaz Ashraf is an insult to the martyred soldiers whose only identity was Indian. The complaint also states that such highlighting of castes of the slain soldiers will show their families in a bad light in this time of grief by giving out the impression that they are playing caste victims to seek caste-based benefits, which is not true. It is alleged in the complaint that the article is based on false allegations and has requested for the filing of an FIR against the author under the SC and ST Atrocities Act and removal of the article.
The headline of the controversial article, which reduced the Pulwama martyrs to their castes, itself suggests that the article was aimed at creating a caste divide in the Armed Forces. The article is laden with divisive language like urban middle-class, upper-caste Indians and so on. The author has also informed that he called the grieving family members of the martyrs to know their castes. The article has been highly criticised for its divisive undertones and false claims.