Note: Later reports suggests the main accused’s name is Parvez Gujjar and not Parvesh Gujjar.
As the Ghaziabad incident continues to expose a nefarious agenda to spread communal hatred based on false allegations, new information has come to light.
Local Samajwadi Party leader, Umed Pahalwan Idris, who appeared in a Facebook Live video alongside Ghaziabad assault victim Abdul Samad has been booked by Ghaziabad police. Police have accused Idrisi of giving the incident of personal animosity a “communal colour”.
An FIR under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (act intended to outrage religious feelings), 504 (intentional insult), 505 (mischief) and 120B (conspiracy), and section 67 of the IT Act has been filed against the SP leader.
SP leader Umed Idris reportedly made the victim of assault tell that he was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram, giving the incident of petty crime a communal colour.
The FIR registered at Loni Border police station states, “The accused made an unnecessary video with the complainant and, without verifying the facts of the case, carried out religious discussions on his Facebook, which spread animosity in the community.”
“The accused attempted to give the incident a communal colour and disturb societal balance. This act hurt religious sentiments. The particular act presented a threat to law and order and tried to divide between Hindus and Muslim community,” it added.
Here’s what happened:
As per reports, one Abdul Samad was thrashed by a Parvesh, Aarif, Adil, Mushahid, Kallu and Poli on June 05. Samad, a local amulet seller, had sold one to the prime accused which allegedly had ‘adverse effects’ on his family.
As per SSP Amit Pathak’s statement, Parvesh called Samad at his residence to seek revenge and thrashed him black and blue with the help of his friends. An FIR was filed by the victim on June 07 stating that he was kidnapped and beaten by people unknown. However, the police informed that the perpetrators Parvesh, Adil and Kallu during the interrogation had confessed that they knew Samad and had gathered to take revenge.
On June 14, Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair uploaded a muted video (which now stands deleted) of the incident where the victim was being assaulted and Tweeted that the man was threatened at gunpoint, beaten, assaulted and the perpetrators forcefully chopped off his beard.
Soon after, Zubair posted another video (also deleted) which was a Facebook live done by SP leader Idrisi with photos of SP leader Akhilesh Yadav hanging on the wall. Samad in this video showed the marks of assault and claimed that he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
These two videos activated the entire left lobby giving the incident a ‘communal color’ after almost 10 days of the assault. Publications like The Wire, TheQuint, Indian Express published reports on the basis of the victim’s statement in the Facebook live video, thereby, defaming the Hindu religious slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram.’
The video and the narrative soon went viral on social media, posing a threat to the law and order in the state.
On the very same day, Ghaziabad police uploaded a video apprising of the case giving relevant details and kept the social media users updated with the development thereon.
उक्त वीडियो वायरल के संबंध में पीड़ित की तहरीर पर पूर्व में ही अभियोग थाना लोनी बॉर्डर पर पंजीकृत है मुख्य अभियुक्त वर्तमान में जेल में निरुद्ध है अन्य अभियुक्त गण की शीघ्र गिरफ्तारी कर प्रकरण में आगे की कार्रवाई की जाएगी । बाइट सीओ लोनी pic.twitter.com/1EeZ6h6RUO— GHAZIABAD POLICE (@ghaziabadpolice) June 14, 2021
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government filed an FIR on June 15 against Twitter for failing to flag the video with unverified claims as ‘manipulative’ and lack of action.
Alt News co-founder Zubair, Rana Ayyub, The Wire, Salman Nizami, Maksoor Usmani, Sama Mohammad and Saba Naqvi have also been booked for spreading misleading and fake news.
In the FIR filed against the aforementioned, the police stated, “The tweets by the accused had been broadcast on a large scale. The statements made through social media by the accused hint at a criminal conspiracy. The accused and other people tried to create animosity between Hindus and Muslims.”
“The tweets were an attempt to destroy communal harmony. These false tweets had been retweeted by thousands of people. The accused include journalists and political persons who did not make an attempt to establish the truth in the case and spread false news,” read the FIR.
Muhammed Zubair and others delete video
Following the FIR, Muhammed Zubair on June 15 took down the muted video of the incident where he claimed the victim was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ To follow the suit were Saba Naqvi and Rana Ayyub who declared they will wait for the police investigations to complete before commenting on the case.
I’ve deleted the videos that I had posted. The victim’s version of him being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” at this point in time do not seem to add up based on my conversations with police authorities and other journalists reporting on this issue. https://t.co/cof5bjv3I4— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) June 15, 2021
UP police rubbishes claims of communal angle
SSP Amit Pathak in a press conference held on June 16 informed that some social media handles and media publications turned the entire incident of assault on an old man into a hate crime and deliberately tried to give it a communal colour.
The SSP stated that while the accused and the victim were known to each other, false claims on social media had fanned a communal narrative, hinting that it was a crime committed solely for communal hatred.
Stern about the fact that nobody has the liberty to publish unverified and misleading information about an ongoing case, Pathak informed that an FIR has been filed against the social media platform Twitter, Twitter India and seven individuals.
“We are still watchful and if anyone is found furthering the narrative and deliberately publishes hateful content to disturb the communal harmony, strict action will be taken,” informed Pathak. He added that the police is identifying other publishers too, who had fanned the false narrative trying to give the incident a communal colour.
Victim’s initial complaint found factually wrong
The police informed that the FIR filed on June 07 mentioned that the accused and location both were unknown to the victim, however, the investigations have revealed otherwise.
The sequence mentioned in the FIR also does not match up as the FIR stated that Samad was taken in a rickshaw to an unknown location near a forest. However, during the investigation, the accused revealed that Samad was called by the prime accused Parvesh to his home where the other members (also known to the victim) gathered to take revenge.
Parvesh’ family members and other witnesses in the case have also confirmed that the victim Samad was well known to the family and he had been visiting them for the last three months. The police have arrested two more accused in the assault case named Intezar and Saddam. They have confirmed that they were present during the assault.
Basically, so far, the police investigation has revealed that in the initial FIR, a petty crime due to the personal animosity of two parties was given a different colour. As per reports, the victim Samad was reluctant to file the FIR and has been uncooperative in the police investigation.
The claim of ‘forced to chant Jai Shri Ram’ was first found in the SP leader’s video. After which the police had filed an FIR. But the victim had made no mention of the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant in the initial FIR too.