India Today group, which houses the country’s greatest fake news expert Rajdeep Sardesai, seems to be getting extremely influenced by him as the media group has now resorted to peddling fake news, which has already been debunked in the past.
In a report, India Today group claimed that close to 3,000 people from the Dalit community converted to Islam in Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, after facing alleged caste discrimination following the death of 17 people due to wall collapse on December 2. The falling of ‘wall of discrimination’ as the protestors claimed, was the breaking point for many Dalits in the region who claimed that they have been regularly discriminated, claimed the report.
According to the report, a person named Mohammed Abubaker, originally known as Marx, converted to Islam soon after the December 2 event because of the prevailing caste injustice and untouchability. Another person named Sarath Kumar who converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdhuallah reportedly said that it was only the Muslim brothers who stood and protested for them when their people were dead and no Hindu helped them.
The Tamil Puligal Katchi, a local fringe outfit had in December said that the mass conversion would be a protest against the indifference of the state government that had failed to act against a 20-foot high “caste wall” built illegally by a “caste Hindu”.
Further, India Today claimed that several reported cases of discrimination right from entry into temples to discrimination at the burial ground to discrimination towards Dalits at tea shops and public space, which have forced them to convert into Islam.
According to a fact-finding team of Hindu Munnani group, who visited the village immediately after the incident and spoke to the Dalits regarding the claims that they had converted to Islam, this is completely fake. Dalits in the area had denied the claim on video and assured that they would co-exist with all community as they have been.
Relatives and neighbours of those who died after the compound wall collapsed in Nadur village had said no Muslim groups had approached them, and that they were devotees of Hindu deities, especially Ram. Several residents of the village had told an Indian Express team that they are devout Hindus and they are not converting to Islam. They said this was fake news and they didn’t know from where this news had originated.
After the villagers had denied the claim, Tamil Puligal Katchi had made a U-turn saying that they had not even visited the area, and 3000 people those were to be converted were from other areas, including Tirupur, Coimbatore, and nearby areas.
Hindu Munnani state Joint Organiser Rajesh had also alleged that Muslim countries were pumping in money to convert Hindus and had said in the colony there are only 150 families, and the claim that 3,000 would convert to Islam is a white lie. Nobody has converted to Islam which is a falsehood spread by a fringe group known as Tamil Tigers party (Tamil Puligals Katchi) which is famous for its hate speeches against Hindu and Hindu gods.
Rajesh further revealed that Tamil Tigers leader Thiruvalluvan was arrested for fomenting communal trouble in the past. According to Rajesh, TTP, in order to divert the issue, started spreading rumours that Dalits are embracing Islam. He has the support of the Foreign NGOs, separatist elements and others and they had lured the poor with money and other kinds had alleged Rajesh.
Therefore, it is possible that the people quoted by India Today who have converted to Islam are from other areas, and not from Mettupalayam. As even Tamil Puligal Katchi had said that they had not visited the place and people from other places were being converted.