On 2 may 2020, five personnel from the Indian armed forces, including a colonel and a major were martyred in a prolonged encounter with Islamist terrorists in a village in Kashmir’s Handwara.
As per reports, the armed forces personnel had entered the house to free some locals who were being held hostage by the terrorists. After hours of lost communication, gunfights and a long night, it was finally reported that 5 Indian soldiers had to lay down their lives to save the hostages in the gun battle that also resulted in the deaths of two dreaded Lashkar terrorists.
Indian Army’s Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh, Lance Naik Dinesh and J&K Sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi were martyred in the encounter that took place in Handwara’s Chanjumullah area in North Kashmir.
While the entire nation was mourning the death of brave soldiers, for some media outlets, it is propaganda as usual.
While most media outlets had shared the PTI newsfeed of the incident, The Wire decided to give it their own twist. For them, the terrorists who had taken a village family hostage were just ‘alleged’ terrorists.
Their usage of the word ‘killed’ for Indian soldiers, instead of ‘martyred’ was also highlighted by many on social media.
Instead martyred the so called toilet paper The Wire, writes killed for them the terrorists are alleged ones not the actual ones.— TAU ताऊ (The Great Grandfather) (@Tausuper) May 4, 2020
This is called pure prostitution of Journalism. pic.twitter.com/o2FiQ1YFYE
"Alleged terrorists".— Major Neel (Retd) (@MajorNeel) May 3, 2020
The Wire has written "alleged" terrorists 4 times in this article. Such outrageous articles are deliberate and recurrent with The Wire. I don't have any hope but still tagging @rsprasad and @PrakashJavdekar here. Please take cognizance sirs. pic.twitter.com/z9C2grMqpG
Another Twitter user Anwesh Satpathy pointed it out that while most news outlets had taken the PTI newsfeed and published the report, none felt the need to write ‘alleged’ before the mention of the word ‘terrorist’.
People have already noted the problematic use of the world *alleged* terrorist by The Wire.They attribute the news to PTI. This sentence appears in many other news outlets(some of which attribute it to PTI),however in none of them could i find *alleged*.They inserted it.See below https://t.co/2eUjDBWNEV pic.twitter.com/TnWOz9Jjuj— Anwesh Satpathy (@anwesh_satpathy) May 4, 2020
Anwesh shared the screenshots of the same reports published by other outlets like the Economic Times, Tribune, and Business Standard. None of the outlets had mentioned the ‘alleged’ word before terrorists.
After facing criticism on social media, The Wire seems to have deleted the Tweet and has probably modified their earlier report. The present report has a different headline and the next does not mention the word ‘alleged’ before terrorists.
Though the present news report of the incident doesn’t have the word ‘alleged’, the Google search shows the cache, where they had mentioned ‘alleged’.
For certain media outlets, such deliberate twists and wordplay are a part of their misinformation propaganda. They use ‘alleged’ when the criminals are Pakistani terrorists or they belong to a certain community.
Some media outlets also use words like ‘activists’, ‘workers’ when referring to dreaded terrorists from Pakistan sponsored terrorist organisations. The Wire has, in the past, also referred to Kashmir as ‘disputed’, a term used by Pakistani channels and officials.