In the aftermath of Pulwama, lots of fake news is being spread about Kashmiri students being attacked in various places in India. Several media houses have reported about such incidents happening in Dehradun, while police and administration have clarified that no such incident has happened.
International news organisation Reuters has also published a similar story. In a report published today, Reuters claims that Kashmiri Muslims are facing a backlash in “Hindu-majority India”, mainly in Haryana and Uttarakhand. It quotes few Kashmiri Muslims staying in Dehradun saying they have asked to vacate their houses by landlords. It also claims that some Kashmiri students were assaulted by Hindu right-wing groups.
Uttarakhand Police has denied such reports, and CRPF has also informed that they had enquired about complaints about harassment on Kashmiri students and found them incorrect. Many local people also informed via social media that no incident of assault on Kashmiris has happened.
Now, it has emerged that Reuters was determined to push a narrative that Kashmiris are being harassed after the Pulwama attack. According to a person who works at an Indian news agency which coordinates with Reuters, Reuters had insisted that they should give them some material for their story, despite being denied by the agency’s director. The agency employee sent messages to one of our sources detailing the same.
According to that person, the agency told Reuters that they have no news about attacks on Kashmiris in Dehradun, and even both Uttarakhand Police and CRPF have denied the reports. But Reuters still wanted proof that such incidents have happened from the news agency for their story.
The news agency employee also notes that the Reuters story is very unbalanced, as it does not mention the denials issued by police and CRPF.
The version of the news agency employee clearly indicates that Reuters was desperately trying to find material to prove assaults on Kashmiri Muslims, even when there was no truth in it.
It is important to note that Reuters is not an ordinary news organisation, it is a leading news provider all over the world. Thousands of media houses across the world subscribe to wore services of Reuters and publish their stories. Therefore, any biased and one-sided story by Reuters is much more serious than such reports by standalone media houses.