Congress leader Salman Nizami had made some vile and disgusting tweets merely a month after the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. In the January 2013 tweets, Salman Nizami said that ‘only attractive women are raped’, ‘women provoke sexual harassment’ and that women are ‘asking for trouble’ when they dress ‘provocatively’ among other things. Those tweets have now gone viral.
In his initial defense, Salman Nizami made a bizarre comment. He claimed that he was a journalist in 2013. It isn’t clear how that makes any difference. He arrogantly berated people on social media, “Now sit down!” Naturally, when people refused to do so, he came with another line of defense.
He now claims that his account was hacked by Pakistani hackers. He said, “BJP IT cell attacking me for tweets of 2013 which I never wrote & they circulate from time to time when dejection takes them over. Old disease of the BJP. Shameful!” But there are a few problems with the line of defense he has chosen.
First and foremost, there are numerous grammatical and spelling errors in the newspaper clip shared by the Congress leader. Pioneer is spelled as ‘Pionner’, ‘some friends’ is written as ‘some friend’s’ and the date Feb 5 looks extremely odd as well.
Furthermore, it doesn’t say which newspaper carried the headline. On the whole, it looks extremely dubious and is a complete volte-face from the first line of defense taken by Salman Nizami, which was that he was a journalist back then.
We delved into the internet for more information regarding the matter and found that it is not the first time that Salman Nizami had made such claims. In 2017, prior to the Gujarat Assembly Elections, Prime Minister Modi had targeted the Congress party over derogatory comments made by the Congress leader.
Salman Nizami had then said, “I had filed a police complaint in 2015 when my fake Twitter account was created. Five to six accounts in my name were created. I have never used such words.” “How can the Prime Minister quote from a fake Twitter account? Somebody may have hacked my account, who knows,” he had said.
The comments were made from his verified account on Twitter, so it could not have been a fake account. Moreover, his comments from back then shows that he believed someone ‘may have hacked’ his account. Also, the repulsive tweets on rape he made in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya rape and murder were from January 2013, that is two years prior to the police complaint he claims to have filed over fake accounts.
DNA reported in December 2017 that the derogatory tweets made by Salman Nizami went as far back as 2011, that is 4 years before he claims to have filed a police complaint. In a 2013 tweet, he had written, “Rahul Gandhi overheard whispering during the Republic Day parade: Mummy, if the whole army is here, who is guarding the border right now?”
He had told DNA back then, “Back in 2013 after I had written an article in a national daily against terrorists, several accounts had been made in my name and I was defamed through them. Again in 2015 such things happened and I had lodged a police complain.” Again, this is not a case of hacking that he is alleging.
Fake accounts being created in one’s name is not the same as his account being hacked. Moreover, as we have pointed out earlier, the rape tweets could not have been from a fake account as they were made from his verified handle. Therefore, his hacking claims appear dubious unless some solid evidence is produced.
Also, it is unclear why he did not remove the tweets after he regained access to his Twitter account if his account was indeed ‘hacked’. This January, it will be eight years since the tweets were made. It is unclear why he is deleting them only now.