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Rising Intolerance? Here are a dozen ‘hate crime’ stories that turned out to be fake

The fact that fake hate crimes receive more attention than the series of hate crimes committed against Hindus is indeed a matter of deep concern.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

In recent times, there has been a spate of ‘hate crimes’ which gained great press coverage. However, despite the media hype, they turned out to be fake. In spite of that, such stories continue to fly thick and fast to build the narrative of ‘Dara Hua Musalman’ while actual hate crimes against Hindus continue to be ignored.

In this article, we document a list of ‘hate crimes’ that turned out to be completely fake.

1. The Gurugram Fake Hate Crime: May 2019

Media reports of a Muslim man, Barkat Ali, in Gurugram being beaten up by some Hindu men in Sadar Bazar area had gone viral on social media. The event had gotten significant attention on social and mainstream media after newly elected BJP MP Gautam Gambhir had tweeted about it, insinuating it to be a hate crime and preaching about ‘secularism’.

Many mainstream media channels had reported the incident as a case of anti-Muslim hate crime. On social media, the incident was highlighted yesterday by many influencers as a case of growing intolerance and violence against Muslims.

The alleged victim, Barkat Ali, claimed that he was beaten up by a group of men who removed his skull cap claiming it was now ‘allowed’ in the area and had forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. However, the Police denied that it was a hate crime after going through the facts of the matter. Gurugram police had said that the incident was a case of a minor brawl in a drunken state.

The police had registered an FIR in the case. The statement by the victim had not mentioned him being forced to chant ‘Jai Shriram’ or being threatened to be fed pork. The police had also stated that from CCTV footage, it is seen that the entire incident was over within a minute. The police had stated that some ‘anti-social elements’ are trying to paint the incident in communal colours.

The Police also said that Barkat Ali may have been tutored to give the entire incident a communal spin. The CCTV footage also showed that no one had deliberately removed his skull cap and that it had fallen accidentally. The entire thing was over within a minute.

2. Gurugram Road Rage Incident: May 2019

In an unfortunate incident of road rage, one Dr Narul in Gurugram was beaten up by a mob when he went to buy milk for Iftar. However, IndiaTimes.com, a Times Group website, decided to twist its own report and give it a communal angle and declare the road rage as hate crime.

Dr Narul had gone to Ardee City at around 8 pm to buy milk in his Baleno car when two men got off from their Fortuner car and abused him. Dr Narul mentions that when he told them that they were coming from the wrong side of the road, the duo called up a few other men who then beat him up in what clearly appears a case of road rage.

He mentioned that when he was being beaten up, he heard someone say that he (Dr Narul) is a Muslim and hence they (the men allegedly beating him up) should leave because this incident could lead to communal riots.

“They thrashed me brutally and I could not understand the reason. I heard two of them saying that I am a Muslim and they should leave otherwise riots will take place. They fled after leaving me on the road side. I don’t know any of them. I want strict action against the accused,” Nurul told TOI.

However, IndiaTimes, another Times Group website, reproduced this story by giving it a communal twist. The headline reads that the mob thrashed Dr Narul while shouting “Muslims should leave”, while in fact, they fled the scene when they realised the person they were beating up was a Muslim. Following OpIndia report on the same, they later changed the headline.

3. Delhi Madarsa Teacher Incident: June 2019

On June 21, a controversy had erupted after a Muslim man had claimed that he was allegedly hit by a car after he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. A madarsa teacher named Mohammed Momin had alleged that he was allegedly abused and then run over by the car as he refused to chant Hindu religious slogans at Delhi’s Rohini Sector.

However, eyewitnesses rubbished Momin’s allegations. A Police officer said, “The accounts given by some eyewitnesses of the incident do not substantiate the claims made by the victim but the investigation is underway”. CCTV footage from near the crime scene has also not been able to prove the allegations.

Following the incident, the ‘liberal-secular’ media had begun to demonise Hindus for attacking a madarsa teacher. The secular media had found a new victim in Momin, which they further used to perpetuate a false narrative about ‘Muslim victimhood’.

4. Criminal Incident Given a Communal Spin, Rajasthan: June 2017

The incident happened in Nagaur district of Rajasthan where a group of men, some hiding their faces, were recorded on camera abusing and assaulting a woman with plastic pipes and forcing her to chant religious slogans. It was not clear who recorded the incident, but the video clearly showed that the men were forcing the woman to chant “Allah” and “Jai Shri Ram”.

However, people from expected quarters conveniently ignored the ‘Allah’ part and focused only on the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ part to give the entire incident a communal spin even though the incident was purely criminal and was horrifying enough even without the communal spin.

5. The Junaid Incident: June 2017

On 22nd June, 17 years old Junaid was returning home along with his brothers after Eid shopping in Delhi when he was stabbed onboard a Delhi-Mathura passenger train between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations.

The fight started over seat sharing, and later religious slurs were also allegedly thrown in the fight, but media reports highlighted this case as a ‘beef’ related lynching. Police investigations in the case though have found out that neither the complainant nor the accused talked about beef.

Many media houses reported how Junaid was killed because of the suspicion that he was ‘carrying beef’. The country’s “liberal” elite had taken to social media and the streets to claim “not in my name” when the beef theory peaked.

The High Court in its order dated 28th March 2018 confirmed that the fight started over seat dispute and there was no communal intention to the crime. The judgement made it amply clear that the fight started over seats and “caste” slurs. The High Court observation doesn’t mention beef or religious slurs to be a part of the reason for violence.

6. The Tihar Fake Hate Crime: April 2019

In April, a Muslim inmate at Tihar jail, Nabbir, had claimed that he was branded with the ‘Om’ symbol on his back by the jail superintendent. He had also claimed that the authorities had forced him to fast during Navratri and he had been thrashed. He had made these allegations in front of the Metropolitan Magistrate Richar Parihar who ordered a probe into the entire matter.

However, the probe concluded that Nabbir was, in fact, branded by an associate of his. Nabbir had made these false claims to implicate the jail superintendent and pressurise the jail authorities.

The narrative of it being a hate crime was peddled by the likes of politicians such as Asaduddin Owaisi whose brother is known to make incendiary remarks against Hindus.

7. The Meerut Law Student Incident: April 2019

A law student from Meerut, Umam Khanam, had levelled serious accusations against her fellow students and members of her faculty with whom she had gone on a college trip. In a series of tweets, Khanam had claimed that certain students, under the influence of alcohol, harassed her.

She alleged that the students were carrying BJP caps which they were forcing her to wear and consequently, she was harassed because she refused to. She also suggested that her Muslim identity played a role as she was the only person from the community in the entire group. She further stated that the male faculty ignored the fact that students were harassing despite being present right at the scene.

However, a male faculty present at the scene had denied that any such thing had happened. Her victim narrative was busted by her own classmates who confirmed that nothing of the sort had happened. She never even showed up for the inquiry set up by college authorities on the matter. It was eventually closed due to her non-participation.

8. The Delhi Malviya Nagar Incident: October 2018

An eight-year-old boy Azeem had died in a scuffle over a playground in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar outside a madarsa. The incident took place when two groups of children between the age 8 to 12 years, from different communities, got into a fight where the victim Azeem lost his consciousness after he was pushed and hit his head on a motorcycle. Four minors, aged 10 to 12 years, had reportedly been apprehended by the police.

However, the unfortunate incident was given a communal twist by usual suspects, terming the death as ‘lynching’ and ‘hate crime’. One certain individual even went on to say that the fact that the young boy had died in a scuffle is a ‘cover-up’ and that the elders ‘instigated’ the young children to kill Azeem.

OpIndia.com had reached out to Malviya Nagar Police Station where the police confirmed that it was not a case of lynching. Malviya Nagar SHO also confirmed that it was neither a hate crime nor does it have any communal angle to it.

Later, Azeem’s father himself had confirmed that this was an unfortunate incident and there was no hate crime angle to it. Khaleel Ahmed, a farmer by profession had said, “Please do not politicise my son’s death. This is not a communal matter. It was an accident. I used to speak to him regularly. He never suggested that he was being bothered or troubled by anyone.”

9. Man Killed for ‘Stealing’ Calf, Manipur: November 2015

The mainstream media story went that the headmaster of a school, Md Hasmad Ali, was beaten to death after he was seen with a calf that was missing from the shed of one of the villagers. This lynching story was picked up even by NYTimes to further own agenda. Even though the media had made up its mind, Ali’s elder son said something different:

“It’s a cold-blooded murder because of some land dispute. The murderers shift the blame on another community and take advantage of the (sensitive) functioning of the society.”

The son further blamed his father’s death on a personal land dispute with his neighbour and also distant relative, Mohammad Amu, and Amu’s brother. The family said that Amu tried to mask his personal enmity by using communal overtones to shift the blame elsewhere even as he was settling scores with his enemy.

10. “Jai Shree Ram” Fake Hate Crime, Telangana: June 2019

Former AIMIM leader who is now a leader of Majlis Bachao Tehreek took to Twitter to share that a Muslim man was beaten up in Karimnagar, Telangana. He alleged that the Muslim man was beaten up for not chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’. It was also shared by other social media users.

However, Commissioner of Police, Karimnagar, Telangana State, shared a video of the Muslim man where he clarified that he was beaten up over a personal issue and there was no communal side to it.

He mentioned how it took place over a ‘love story’. He was beaten up for allegedly harassing a teenaged girl over last few days. The police have registered a case against five persons who beat him up under various sections of the IPC.

The man’s father also came on record to confess how it was his son’s fault which led to the incident and even apologised for the same. He too clarified that there was no communal angle to it.

11. Kolkata Nun Rape: March 2015

On 14th March 2015, the 71-year-old nun was gang-raped at a convent allegedly by a group of six Bangladeshi nationals who had entered the convent after overpowering the security guard. They broke the safe and stole around Rs 12 lakh before proceeding to the first floor of the convent and raping the nun in her room. The CCTVs installed in the campus captured most of the incident which took place between 1 and 4 am.

The five accused, Salim Sheikh, Gopal Sarkar, Khaleda Rahaman Mintoo, Milan Sarkar and Ohidul Seikh, have been charged under IPC sections 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 376 (sexual assault), 376 D (intercourse), 212 (harbouring offender), 216 A (penalty for harbouring robbers or dacoits) and 109 (punishment of abetment). One suspect is currently missing.

The Kolkata City Court had found one of them guilty in 2017. The mainstream media, however, had blamed the ‘inherent hatred’ of the RSS and Hindutva proponents for the crime even before the Police had finished its investigation.

12. The Barun Kashyap Saga, 2016

Barun Kashyap, a creative director with a production house, had made headlines in 2016 when he claimed that he was abused and threatened by some Gau Rakshaks after they mistook his bag as made of cow leather.

He wrote about his experience in a Facebook post, which was made popular on social media by self-declared liberal activists and some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders who vouched for the 24-year-old executive being the “gentlest, most soft-spoken kid”.

His version of the story was reported by the mainstream media as gospel truth, and there was usual commentary about how there was “rising intolerance” in India and how “right wing” elements were making India a “Hindu Taliban”.

After police investigated the case, however, it turned out that the culprits were not Gau Rakshaks but Barun himself, who made up the entire story to gain some popularity. Police informed that the CCTV footage of the area and Barun’s mobile locations didn’t match the story claimed by the “creative” director. Even the vehicle registration number provided by Barun and the sketch of the auto-driver didn’t match any real auto or person after talking to about 180 auto drivers in that region. Police declared that they were treating Barun as a suspect after their initial findings.

Despite AAP leaders like Priti Sharma Menon shielding him and providing him moral and legal support, police took Barun Kashyap in custody on 4th October 2015 for further investigations. And now it has come to light that Barun has accepted that he made up the story. And apparently, he did so, because he hates Hindus. “I lied because have hatred towards Hindus.” Barun was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.

Barun Kashyap was booked under section 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 182B (for use of lawful power of a public servant to injure or annoy any person) of the Indian Penal Code and was lodged in Arthur Road jail. Due to AAP leaders figuring in this incident again and again, Police was also investigating whether there was any political conspiracy behind the whole story.

The first time is chance, second is a coincidence, third is a pattern. And what does a dozen times mean?

As is evident, there is a definitive pattern emerging here. These are merely a dozen of them. There are whole initiatives dedicated to manufacturing fake hate-crimes through a ‘hate-tracker‘ that fudges data and manipulates it to portray Muslims as perennial victims and Hindus as merciless aggressors.

The reality, however, is quite different. We published a list of 50 hate crimes against Hindus committed by Muslims since 2016 which, barring one or two, did not receive even a shadow of the attention that these fake hate crimes have received.

Therefore, one has to wonder, what is the endgame here? One, of course, could be the desire to see the implementation of the sectarian Communal Violence Bill which inherently assumes Hindus to be the perpetrators and Muslims to be the victims every single time. The Congress party even promised a new law for hate crimes in its election manifesto.

The other possibility is far more sinister. The objective of the mainstream media is not to report objective truth, its primary objective is to deflect attention from events that the powers that be do not want the public to focus on. Therefore, it appears that the mainstream media is peddling these fake hate crime stories with the explicit purpose of deflecting attention from the actual hate crimes being committed against Hindus and shield the toxic beliefs of certain sections of the minority community from any criticism.

The possibility cannot be ignored entirely. The recent spike in fake hate crime stories coincides with a spate of sexual crimes and hate crimes committed against Hindus by Muslim men. Thus, it does appear that fake hate crime stories are invented to suppress the news of these actual incidents.

There are political motives surely involved as well. But the fact that fake hate crimes receive more attention than the series of hate crimes committed against Hindus is indeed a matter of deep concern.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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