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Handwara encounter: The Wire refers to slain Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and his aide as ‘alleged’ terrorists

Their usage of the word 'killed' for Indian soldiers, instead of 'martyred' was also highlighted by many on social media.

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.

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’.

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.

It often indulges in spreading baseless claims and misinformation to paint Indian soldiers as the oppressors in the valley and goes to great lengths to paint radical Islamist terrorists as victims.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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