Times Now, the news channel, owned and operated by The Times Group, has once again tried to give a Hindu spin to a crime perpetrated by a Muslim. The crime took place under the influence of an occult practitioner, in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki area, but the news channel used the word ‘Tantrik’ for the occultist in the headline without specifying that the perpetrator is a Muslim.
In a brutal incident, one Alam, the father of a 10-year-old girl beat her to death after he was made to believe by an occultist that the “sacrifice” would help him discover treasure buried in his house. The incident took place in Khurd Mau village in Barabanki’s Badosarai area in Uttar Pradesh.
The occultist allegedly told Alam that a treasure was buried under his house and to reveal its location, he will have to perform a ritual on his daughter. The accused, in his greed to acquire the hidden treasure, agreed to the ritual. He along with the occultist and another man beat up his 10-year-old daughter brutally to death.
When the victim’s mother tried to stop her husband, he beat her up as well. He then buried his daughter’s body in the house. When the victim’s maternal grandmother came to know of the incident, she contacted the police and all accused were arrested.
The body of the minor girl was dug out of the pit and sent for a postmortem where injury marks where found on the victim’s body. According to the grandmother of the victim, Alam, the occulist and another person named Hanif was involved in the crime. The wife of Alam said that the occultist is from Mumbai and he stayed in the house for several days before the incidence.
Times Now tries to give the news a Hindu spin
Since the perpetrator here is a Muslim, it was evident that the occultist would also belong to the same community. Alam would have obviously not go to a Hindu ‘Tantrik’. But Times Now, in its attempt to ‘secularise’ the crime, passed off the occultist as a ‘Tantrik’, that too without mentioning the name of the perpetrator, who in this case is a Muslim.
Even though towards the end of its report, Times Now mentions the name of the accused as Alam, it tries to mislead its reader into believing that the crime was committed by Hindu by using the word ‘Tantrik’ for the occultist in the headline without specifying that the perpetrator is a Muslim.
In general parlance, ‘Tantrik’, a practitioner of ‘tantra vidya’ is mainly associated with Hinduism, and when this word is used, the general perception would obviously be that the crime has been committed by a Hindu.
Times Group- a repeat offender
This is, however, not the first time a media house has maliciously attempted to give a Hindu spin to a crime where the culprit is actually a Muslim. Recently, one ‘Kale Baba’ aka Nasir was caught sexually exploiting women in Lucknow. However, Times of India gave it a Hindu spin by calling the accused as ‘Tantrik’.
To push this ‘secular narrative’, TOI has several times in the past resorted to a similar strategy. In 2018, Time of India reported that in Maharashtra, a ‘godman’ forced his male devotees into ‘unnatural sex’. As per the report, one Asif Noori was the culprit, but TOI had tweeted the same report, using the image of a sketch of a sadhu to mislead its readers. In another case, TOI used the word ‘Swami’ and ‘baba’, other Hindus term, for a rapist who actually belonged to the Muslim community. Similarly, it had passed off a rape crime where the accused was one Rahmat Ali Sheikh to a ‘Tantrik’.
‘Secular’ media loves to ‘Hindu-ise’ crimes perpetrated by criminals of the minority community.
Not just Times of India, but there are several other ‘secular’ media houses which have in the past resorted to similar chicanery. As per a report in The Hindu, a woman had accused a “Tantrik” of raping her in Ajmer, after taking her there on the “pretext of offering prayers at a Dargah”.
Vancular media are also not far behind. Hindi-daily Dainik Jagran too had decided to call an accused in a harassment case as “Tantrik Sufi baba” in the headline. However, the perpetrator was identified as Aftab. In their article, Hindi News18 had carried the headline, “Tantrik arrested for committing misdemeanour with a minor, under the pretext of chasing away ghosts”. The ‘Tantrik’ was later identified as Hafiz Sajid.