On Thursday reports emerged that a Muslim auto driver in Kanpur, Aatib, was allegedly thrashed for not chanting Jai Shree Ram. It was reported that he was allegedly locked up inside a public toilet by three people for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ on Wednesday night.
The Telegraph had reported that Aatib was asked by the customers who hired his auto to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ after they refused to pay the fare. Congress mouthpiece Navjivan, had also reported how three youths mercilessly thrashed Aatib for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. In fact, there were reports that communal tensions have escalated in the area because rumours were floated on WhatsApp that Aatib had died after being thrashed for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
However, the allegations that Aatib was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram are false. According to Police, the men who boarded Aatib’s auto were drunk and matters escalated when they refused to pay fare and got into a heated argument. However, Aatib was not forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as claims made by Aatib. SP South Raveena Tyagi confirmed to OpIndia that the news of Aatib being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are false.
This is not the first time an alleged ‘hate crime’ has turned out to be someone crying wolf. In May this year, media had reported how one Barkat Ali in Gurugram was beaten up by some Hindu men in Sadar Bazar area and his cap forcefully thrown on the ground. He had even claimed that he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Prime-time debates happened around him since the incident took place right after Narendra Modi was reelected as Prime Minister with a thumping mandate. However, the CCTV recording revealed how it was actually a scuffle between few men and the argument turned into push and shoving in which his cap fell down. The CCTV footage showed how no one had deliberately removed his skullcap. And how even his initial complaint never mentioned that he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Similarly, in June this year, a madarsa teacher named Mohammed Momin had alleged that he was 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.
In yet another incident, 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 Shri 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.
You could read our detailed report on how a dozen ‘hate crimes’ turned out to be fake here.