The endless string of violence that has gripped Delhi is one that cannot be seen in isolation. What started as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (then Bill) and the National Registry for Citizens back in December, quickly morphed into anti-Hindu rants, violence and demonstrations all across the country. The Anti-Hindu Delhi riots are simply a manifestation of the aggression among Islamists that have been building up since then.
During the anti-Hindu riots, several horror stories emerged. That of Ankit Sharma who was murdered by Islamists, Dilwar Singh Negi whose hands and legs were chopped off before he was burnt alive, Ratan Lal, a police officer killed during duty or even the fact that Hindu women said that Muslim mobs in Chand Bagh forced their minor daughters to take off their clothes and were sent back home naked. While the international media and media propagandists in India maliciously started branding the Delhi anti-Hindu riots into an anti-Muslim pogrom, a useful tool in spreading the propaganda was Wikipedia.
During the Delhi anti-Hindu riots, there have been casualties from the Muslim side as well as expected in any conflict between two sides. However, the nature of a riot is meant to be established by the starting point of those riots, not what ensues later. By all evidence and measures, the Delhi riots were initiated by Islamists and the build-up lasted weeks.
What is the Delhi riots Wikipedia page
The Wikipedia article titled North East Delhi riots was created on 25th February by a senior Wikipedia editor that goes by the username DBigXray. When one visits the page, the first image one sees is the photo of BJP leader Kapil Mishra, not an image of the riots. Kapil Mishra gets a separate section titled ‘incitement’ in the article, where he has been blamed for starting the riots.
Interestingly, some people had reference to AAP leader Amanatullah Khan for his provocative speeches during anti-CAA riots earlier in Delhi and UP. But this was also removed by the moderators, claiming that although cases have been filed against Khan, those are not related to the North East Delhi riots. On the 24th, one anti-CAA protester had brandished a pistol and fired 8 shots towards pro-CAA protesters, who was identified as Mohammad Shahrukh. The Wiki page merely mentions him as a shooter and does not even mention that he is from an anti-CAA mob.
After the image of Shahrukh, the firing had gone viral, anti-CAA activists had claimed he is pro-CAA, despite journalists on the ground who had posted videos and images saying he was anti-CAA. Later, high-resolution images had shown he was part of a mob that had several persons in skull caps. When other users wanted to include this information in the Wikipedia article, they were shot down by the moderator. The senior editor, who is supposed to be politically neutral while editing and moderating content on Wikipedia, commented that if the man was a Hindu, media would not have focused on him, and there is no need to include more detail on the incident.
The article mentions the attack on a mosque in Ashok Nagar and shouting of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Hinduon ka Hindustan” slogans by the mobs, but have absolutely no reference to any attack by Muslims and anti-CAA mobs. On the other hand, while there are videos showing mob shouting “Nara e Taqbeer” and “Allahu Akbar”, they find no place on the page.
Although Wikipedia articles can be edited by anybody, the online encyclopedia has provisions for locking down specific articles to check vandalism, etc. The article on North East Delhi riots has been made semi-protected, which means only confirmed registered users can make edits to it. As a result, ordinary users are having to request user DBigXray for making changes, and user DBigXray, who has special privileges as a Master Editor III, decides what information is included and what is not on the page.
There were several other issues with the article that we will discuss in the article later.
Who is the creator of the motivated Delhi riots page: The identity of DBigXray
The creation of such a page and the edits thereof are extremely problematic. Though Wikipedia is hardly a reliable source of information, it is one of the first pages that Google throws up when one searches for a subject and is widely considered reliable and a go-to page for information on any subject. Amidst all of this, the motivated lies in the Delhi riots page can only be considered a willful distortion of history.
While the outrage regarding the Wikipedia page was on, an anonymous post on Reddit went viral that claimed to out the identity of the person who has been literally altering history by indulging in rampant Wikipedia edits.
The Reddit post claimed that the identity of the Wikipedia editor, DBigXray, is one Deepesh Raj. When the said person’s profile was checked, it was found that he works with Intel Bangalore and is an alum of IIT-K.
According to this Reddit post, Wikipedia user DBigXRay who is behind the biased article on Delhi riots, is one Deepesh Raj. Other articles/edits by this DBigXRay are also blatantly biased and bigoted. https://t.co/TTHyQf2tVC pic.twitter.com/EeoXMjWosB
— Spaminder Bharti (@attomeybharti) March 2, 2020
To verify these claims independently, OpIndia tried to follow a trail of breadcrumbs left behind by DBigXray himself. We started by searching for the exact details mentioned in the Reddit post.
If one looks at some of DBigXray’s oldest edits, one finds that he had created the page for Carmel School (Giridh). Now, Carmel School is a convent private school located in the Giridih district of Jharkhand. For someone to create a page for that school and write a detailed description of a not-so-famous school from Giridh District, one can presume that he must have some connection with it.
Armed with this theory, we searched for the Facebook page of this specific school (Carmel School, Giridh) and began to search for any post that spoke about the Wikipedia page being created. Interestingly, we stumbled upon a Facebook post that was published in the Carmel School group.
In this Facebook Post, Deepesh Raj is confirming that he had written the article on Wikipedia about the school. The post is from 2011. The Facebook page of Deepesh still exists.
Though the identity and the veracity of the Reddit post can be established from this Facebook post itself, we decided to dig further. When one looks at the image of the Wiki page of the school, it clearly mentions that the author of the page is one Deepesh Raj. We could establish the identity, however, we could not establish whether he is an AAP supporter and/or close to Arvind Kejriwal as mentioned in the Reddit post that has now gone viral.
Further on the same page, we see that the user, as mentioned by Wikipedia, who created the Carmel School page is one ‘Deepeshraj1’.
When one clicks on the “talk” part of the user ‘Deepeshraj1’, we are taken to another page. The page looks like this.
In the ‘Talk’ page of user Deepeshraj1, one sees an entry by Wikipedia where it is recorded that the same user, Deepeshraj1 changed his username to DBigXray. DBigXray is the person who is our person of interest and who created the highly biased Delhi riots page.
A perusal of the archive link of Wikipedia user name changes also proves that it was indeed Deepeshraj1 who eventually became DBigXray.
In the Archive page, one can see that Deepesh Raj had even written his reasons for changing his handle.
“Deepeshraj is my real name, which i would not like to disclose, i did not think abt it much when i made the account. the Username DBigXray is my signature and my account. (i had created (DBigXray account) as i had forgot the password of this Deepeshraj1 account which i latere retrieved from my browser) i have not done any edits with DBigXray account so i hope you wont have problems in merging these two accounts with final name DBigXray (sic)”.
Now that we have established who DBigXray is, let us see why it has become important and what kind of edits by DBigXray is creating outrage.
Wikipedia edits of DBigXray aka Deepesh Raj on Delhi Riots page
The Edits to the Delhi riots page made by DBigXray aka Deepesh Raj were extremely problematic. Had he written an article in his name, one could attribute to one writer and his biases, however, since most people consider Wikipedia an authentic source of information, the biases end up altering history as it would be read by millions of people across the globe. Deepesh vehemently argued and vetoed any edit that could make the Wiki article more authentic. This investigation was helped by Mr Dushyant.
For example, he refused to allow the Jaffrabad’s shooter’s name, identified as Shahrukh. He said such shootings happen often in riots and that Shahrukh was being singled out and named because he was a Muslim.
When the conversation revolved around the addition of Kapil Mishra as the sole ‘Lead Figure’ of the Delhi riots, he refused to add Waris Pathan’s speech as one of the instigators of the riots. He said that he could not find anything provocative in Waris Pathan’s speech. It is worthy to note here that Waris had openly incited mobs and said that 15 crores Muslims can overpower Hindus.
The user, Deepesh Raj, also claimed that Tahir Hussain, the AAP leader who led an Islamist mob that tortured and murdered IB sleuth Ankit Sharma was being framed.
Further, he says that Tahir Hussain cannot be mentioned until he is convicted by a court of law. It is pertinent to mention here that Kapil Mishra has been made the face of the riots based on nothing but propaganda.
He also says that such “allegations” cannot be made against Tahir Hussain.
He further refuses to add Tahir’s name saying that just like other AAP leaders “despite being framed by the police” have been exonerated, Tahir might be too. And hence, his reference is not to be added.
In fact, he even says that Ankit Sharma, who was stabbed 400 times and was tortured to death “was not notable enough” to be mentioned in the Wikipedia article.
There are several other issues with the article. Like the crimes committed by Muslim mobs missing, the glaring bias and even him holding Ankit Sharma’s family responsible for “changing their statement” as if by force. This was in reference to the Wall Street Journal misquoting Ankit Shamra’s brother, Ankur Sharma. Ankur repeatedly asserted thereafter that he had never said that the murderers of his brother chanted Jai Shree Ram.
Other problematic and biased edits by the user
There are several other edits by the same user which are highly biased and reveal a sinister mindset. He had changed “Martyred” to “Killed” in the Wikipedia article about Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was mutilated and murdered by Pakistan.
He had removed “Pandit” from Pandit Deen Daya Upadhyay’s page.
He removed the reference of Ishrat Janan, the Congress leader who has been arrested for inciting violence.
He created the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ Wikipedia article.
He added ‘Militant’ to the Article about Veer Savarkar.
He sanitized the article on Deen Dayal Upadhyay, to remove mostly every positive aspect that was added by others.
He also added the false information that Veer Savarkar had a physical relationship with Nathuram Godse, the assassin of MK Gandhi.
For the uninitiated, after the publication of edition one of ‘Freedom at Midnight’, Gopal Godse, younger brother of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, had slammed the authors for their “false, defamatory and libelous allegations”.
According to an article published in The Indian Express in 1976, Gopal Godse had asked Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins to provide proof substantiating their claims, failing which, he demanded a ban on the controversial book. He had then said that the book was full of “damaging distortions”.
Godse said he would sue the authors in the Bombay courts for falsely quoting him that he gave the slanderous information of Veer Savarkar having homosexual relations with Nathuram Godse. Later, edition two of the same book was published with the particular content omitted.
The user also added an entire section to the article about ‘Jai Shree Ram’ that was titled ‘Usage’. In that, he has added the edit that says it has turned into a “murder cry”.
The user DBigXray aka Deepesh Raj has written several other articles on Wikipedia other than those of Delhi Riots and edited even more that essentially alter history as recorded by Wikipedia which is unfortunately considered an authentic source of information. The bias of the account is such, that it had even requested the deletion of the article on Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha.
What is extremely problematic is that Deepesh Raj appears to have been engaging in such edits on Wikipedia constantly, not just for Delhi Riots but other pages too, and because of his level at Wikipedia, his edits are not challenged. After making such edits, he protects the pages so others cannot rectify the lies he has spread. Several sensitive subjects have been targeted by the user. It remains to be seen whether the website takes any action.
Wikipedia has long been accused of bias against rightwing or conservative viewpoints. A cabal of editors exists who work together to bias articles and to hide embarrassing facts about left-wing political figures, while at the same time smearing conservatives. Scandals involving left-wing personalities are labelled “conspiracy theories” while left-wing politicians are given a free pass. David Swindle has published an article detailing the manner in which Wikipedia has been taken over by the Political Left. The pervasive bias includes labelling conservative and right-wing sources as being unreliable.