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Legal activist group writes to media houses asking to be careful in reporting lynching incidents as many cases found to be fake

There is a sudden spurt of news of “mob lynchings” of Muslim community after victim forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”, many of them fake

Legal Rights Observatory, a legal activist group, has written to the leading news broadcasters who as members of The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), asking to exercise restraint while reporting incidents of lynching. In an email sent to news organisations, the legal group said that many cases of lynching have been proved fake and fabricated, hence they should very cautious while reporting such events.

The mail reads that since last fortnight or so, there is a sudden spurt of news of “mob lynchings” of the Muslim community after victim forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Sections of electronic, digital and print media give prominent space to cover such news and they have also started blaming the majority Hindu community for such alleged incidents. But the truth is the majority of such news are fake.

Legal Rights Observatory alleges that overzealous Indian media has provided fodder to international media in spreading lies about persecution of Muslims in the name of “Jai Shri Ram”. They note that later media groups like News18, Times of India and others have published that alleged lynching cases related to the slogan in Coochbehar, Gurugram, Kanpur etc were proved to be fake. But before the truth came out, immense damage to the India’s image was already inflicted on the international level due to such fake news, which had triggered widespread condemnation of the government of India by various international organisations.

The email also notes that Muslims took out violent protests against the so-called mob lynchings due to such reporting. LRO cautions that such careless, irresponsible, communally inflammatory reporting by influential media outlets may add fuel to the fire. Therefore, a very responsible and sensible behaviour is expected from the media houses.

They have also mentioned that they have already sent a notice to an English language daily for such malicious reporting of “Mob Lynching related to chanting of Jai Shri Ram” under sections 153 (A), 295 (A) and 298 of IPC and relevant sections of the IT act.

LRO has requested the news broadcasters to refrain from provocative, malicious and fake journalism to help maintain peace and communal harmony in the country. They have also said that they will prosecution of such media houses who spread lies of mob lynching in future as per legal provisions.

Earlier LRO had initiated legal proceedings against the Times Group for such a fake news of mob lynching. The groups Marathi newspaper Maharashtra Times had published a news claiming that a man was thrown out of a train after forcing him to chant Jai Shri Ram.

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