On Sunday, the PTI news feed had reported that a retired army officer was ‘thrashed to death’ in Amethi. Soon it was spread widely that the veteran was ‘lynched’ to death.
Tehseen Poonawalla, the abusive Congress supporter and Robert Vadra’s relative, claimed that retired Army officer Amanullah was the latest victim of ‘mob lynching’ in Uttar Pradesh. He declared that it was the time to bring in “MaSuKa or Manav Suraksha Kanoon” which is the only way to stop the lynching.
Sitharam Yechury, the hero of Indian unemployed comrades, while enjoying his free time after losing relevance in Indian politics, also peddled the same fake news. He targetted the BJP for ‘fuelling hatred’ and ‘protecting’ them.
Ashish Joshi, a suspended bureaucrat who threatened AAP rebel leader Kapil Mishra in his personal capacity on an official letterhead, too tried to spread fake news regarding the death of an army officer by declaring it as a ‘mob lynching’ without even knowing the basic details of the case.
Congress trolls and supporters seem to have waited so long to take their vengeance against Smriti Irani for humiliating Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Journalist Prashant Kanojia who had earlier equated Dalits to animals, also shared false propaganda on social media platforms to communalise the incident.
The fake news phenomenon is not just limited to A-grade trolls and journalists. Even Islamists had an opportunity to be part of the propaganda.
However, truth is far from what the fearmongers are propagating. The 64-year-old retired Army captain Amanullah Khan was found dead in Amethi on Sunday.
He and his wife were attacked in their house by unidentified assailants during a robbery contrary to the claims that he was lynched for being a Muslim.
The police have said that Captain Amanullah and his wife 58-year old Ameena were sleeping when they noticed some people picking up the scrap outside their house at Gordian Ka Purwa village around 2 am.
“When they objected and tried to alert other villagers, the assailants tied them up and started hitting Amanullah with sticks. An injury on the head proved fatal,” said Prahlad Singh, a police officer.
Rajesh Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Amethi said that the deceased and his wife were sleeping in verandah of their newly-constructed house when some thieves tried to steal road construction material of a contractor kept in a vacant area outside the house. As Amanullah raised an alarm, thieves thrashed him to death.
However, why would facts get into the way of propagandists who have an agenda?