Days after Delhi Police arrested 13 people, including 11 Indian Navy personnel on the charges of having a connection with a Pakistani espionage racket, Social Media is rife with communal insinuations stating that all the people arrested are Hindus and none of them is a Muslim. Several people are sharing 13 Hindu names on social media, claiming that they have been arrested in the case.
Left-wing activist Prashant Bhushan quoted a news article published a fairly new website Aajtak Media, and posted 13 Hindu names on Twitter. He added that after reading their Facebook posts it was known that they are ‘pakke deshabhakts’.
पाक के लिये जासूसी में गिरफ्तार!
सतीश मिश्र, दीपक त्रिवेदी, पंकज अय्यर, संजीत कुमार, संजय त्रिपाठी, बबलू सिंह, विकास कुमार, राहुल सिंह, संजय रावत, देवशरण गुप्ता, रिंकू त्यागी, ऋषि मिश्र, वेदराम्। इनकी फेसबुक पोस्ट पढ़ी तो पता चला सच्चे पक्के देशभक्त हैं!https://t.co/6hbnGYZiR6
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 18, 2020
Author Rahul Easwar also posted the names, quoting Social media. He posted a link to one India Today report, which mentions no name of arrested persons.
13 Navy Sailors arrested for spying for Pakistan (names from Social media)
— Rahul Easwar (@RahulEaswar) February 19, 2020
Known Hindu hater Ashok Swain tweeted that none of the arrested is Muslim, and most of them are Upper Caste Hindus, quoting a report on the incident by The Print. Interestingly, the report that he quoted mentioned no name of arrested personnel.
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) February 19, 2020
Verified Twitter user Preeti Chobey, who, according to her bio is an ex-journalist and an ex-National Executive Member of the Samajwadi Party, also shared the same news report and 13 Hindu names with a sarcastic comment that “these are the rabid Muslim men who were arrested by police for spying”.
पाक के लिये जासूसी करते 13 कट्टर मुस्लिम गिरफ्तार :????
:- सवाल है कि इनको देशद्रोही कहे या जासूस https://t.co/NcQ3VQm2qB
— Preeti Chobey (@preeti_chobey) February 18, 2020
Similar tweets were posted by several other Twitter users, highlighting the fact that none of the arrested persons is Muslims and all of them are Hindus.
It is noteworthy to mention that the article shared by Prashant Bhushan and Preeti Chobey in their tweets is from a dubious website that has so far hosted very limited articles and some random blogs. In fact, the first article on the website was published on February 16, 2020. However, they went ahead to give a communal flavour to a serious offence such as espionage by asserting that Hindus were involved in spying for Pakistan, and not Muslims.
It is also notable to mention that the dubious article on Aajtak Media website had mentioned names of 7 alleged spies. However, Prashant Bhushan, Rahul Easwar and others mentioned all the 13 names. In all likelihood, much like the Aajtak Media, the left-liberals too conjured up the names of the alleged culprits and gave it a communal tone to malign Hindus.
As per reports, the Delhi Police apprehended 13 people including 11 Navy officers after allegations of being honey-trapped by Pakistan into spying on India and leaking sensitive information on social media to enemy spies surfaced against them.
The news was covered by many media organisations including India Today, but none of them shared the names of arrested Navy personnel and civilians.
In addition to this, the feature image in the article published on Aajtak Media pertains to a gang rape case in Gurgaon which was published in Hindustan Times in 2017. Ironically enough, those arrested in the case were all Muslims- Ejaz Malik, Mukhtar Ali and Jalil Ahmed, who were accused of gang-raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl in Gurgaon.
There have been no valid sources quoted by the Aajtak Media website that reveals the identity of those arrested in the case, making one doubt the veracity of the claims made by the suspicious website.
While there has been no legitimate source which lists down the identities and religions of those arrested by the Delhi Police in the espionage case, a coordinated campaign to smear Hindus seems to be underway on social media websites. Many Twitter users, including well-known persons like Prashant Bhushan and Rahul Easwar, have actively partaken in propagating this misinformation along the communal lines which bothering to examine the veracity of their claims.