Note: Later reports suggests the main accused’s name is Parvez Gujjar and not Parvesh Gujjar.
Kerala-based portal Maktoob, which has a notorious history of peddling disinformation to communalise petty incidents, has yet again caught indulging in propagating lies in connection with the Loni incident.
On Monday, a video of an elderly Muslim man from Loni in Uttar Pradesh being beaten up by a few individuals due to a personal fight went viral on the internet. However, motivated actors and alleged fact-checkers gave a communal colour to the crime by saying that he was beaten for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
Several Islamists, opposition party members joined these propagandists to falsely claim that an elderly Muslim man was attacked for communal reasons.
However, the Ghaziabad Police swiftly jumped into action to clear the air on the incident and categorically stated that there was no communal angle in the incident. The Uttar Pradesh police said that the ‘victim’ Abdul Samad Saifi was allegedly beaten up by people known to him after an occult amulet he had prepared for one of them did not work as per them. Accused Parvesh Gujjar, Aadil and Kallu were arrested on Monday even as they launched a manhunt to nab other accused Arif and Poli.
Later, more facts emerged in the case, highlighting how unlikely it was that accused like Aadil and Arif would perpetuate a religious identity based ‘hate crime’ against a person of their own community.
It is pertinent to note that Rahul Gandhi continued to peddle the fictional narrative even after the Uttar Pradesh police had debunked the fake news. The UP Police has filed an FIR against Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair and eight others for spreading fake news about the case. Islamist Zubair was the first to communalise the incident by sharing an edited video of the incident to claim that the old man was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
Islamist portal Maktoob invents facts, continues to peddle disinformation about the case
Despite clarification from the Uttar Pradesh police, the rabid Islamist website Maktoob continued to peddle misinformation about the incident to absolve the crimes of Muslim youths accused in the attacks against Samad.
In its latest report, the propaganda website has claimed that one of the arrested accused in the case Aadil did not attack Abdul Samad, but he was present at the spot only to rescue the elderly Muslim man from assailants. Rejecting the clarification provided by the UP police, the Islamist website has claimed that Aadil is innocent and had no role in the attack.
Maktoob has also published the statement of Mohammad Sajid, brother of Aadil, who claimed that his brother was innocent.
“Aadil and his friends received a call informing them that Samad was being assaulted by Pravesh Gujjar and others. They rushed to the scene to rescue him,” Maktoob quoted a person named Sajid, who claimed to be Aadil’s brother.
According to Sajid, Aadil knew Gujjar as the latter visited the gym owned by Aadil in the locality. “Will, he (Aadil) make an elderly Muslim man chant “Jai Shree Ram”? It is bizarre,” Maktoob quoted Sajid as saying. Maktoob also spoke to Aadil’s other brother Mohammad Shehzad, who alleged that the case against his brother is fake. “We don’t know what to do, but the truth will come out very soon,” Shehzad tweeted on Tuesday.
Incidentally, Maktoob also claimed that the publication spoke to elderly Muslim man Samad, who admitted that Hindu men had offered him an auto ride and took him to an isolated spot. As per Maktoob, the Hindu men beat him up and forced Samad to chant Jai Shri Ram and sing Vande Mataram.
In a hurry to twist the facts of the matter, Maktoob fails to provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims that Aadil had nothing to do with the attacks against Samad but was there at the spot only to rescue the elderly Muslim man. In addition, Maktoob claims that Samad himself said to them that he was attacked by Hindus and was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram”.
However, Maktoob has failed to provide any video evidence to prove that Samad had blamed Hindu youths for the attacks.
It is important to note that Ghaziabad police have denied any communal angle to the incident and had stated that the attacks on Abdul Samad were over personal issues, and both members belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities had attacked the elderly man over a fake occult amulet.
Shockingly, Maktoob invents its own storyline to the case that is devoid of any facts. The misinformation propagated by the likes of Maktoob has spread like wildfire on social media platforms. Several Islamists and Hinduphobic social media users are propagating these lies as fiercely as they had shared the news reports that communalised the incident in the first place.
The propagandists and alleged fact-checkers, who had spread fake news initially to communalise the incident and portray Hindus as oppressors, are now busy absolving the crimes of Muslim youths in the case. There has been a concerted effort to push lies against Hindus and defame the pious Hindu religious chant “Jai Shri Ram” by communalising the incident.
Maktoob has a history of inventing ‘Hindu’ angle to petty crimes
This is not the first time that Maktoob has invented “facts” in such sensitive cases to blame Hindus and communalise the entire incident to show Hindus in a bad light.
Maktoob Media, an online portal based in Kerala, has a history of communalising incidents, although the crimes have no religious angle whatsoever. Maktoob, run by rabid Islamists, has been on a campaign to vilify Hindus and their religious chants by linking them to petty criminal incidents.
Recently, a Muslim youth, Asif Khan, was killed in Haryana’s Nuh by a group of men. Asif’s group and the prime accused Pradeep alias Patwari’s group were old rivals and have had incidents of violence between them. In fact, just a few days prior to the incident, Asif’s group had beat up members of Pradeep’s group. In a revenge attack, Patwari’s group had killed Asif, and there was no religious angle whatsoever.
However, Maktoob Media invented a religious angle to the case by claiming that Asif was killed after perpetrators had forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.’
Most importantly, all this narrative that Asif was a victim of hate crime perpetrated by a ‘Hindu mob’ and forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” was based on only one report by Maktoob Media. Maktoob did not attribute these claims to anyone, so it could very well be a figment of someone’s imagination to create communal tension.
These false claims spread like wildfire on the internet, which became fodder for Islamists, Hinduphobic elements and the usual “secular-liberal” establishment to blame Hindus for the religious intolerance in the country.
Incidentally, Maktoob has also in the past indulged in mischief to peddle propaganda. In the violence at Jamia University episode, Maktoob released a heavily edited video online to cast aspersions at the Delhi Police, which was forced to enter the campus to flush out rioters.
In September 2020, Maktoob Media reported an incident where it claimed that a Muslim man was beaten up by a Hindu mob because he was a Muslim. However, it was reported that the accused Muslim man Akhlaq was caught molesting a minor was beaten by the parents of the minor child.
It seems like Maktoob has been consistent in its efforts to portray random crimes as hate crimes either to whitewash the crimes committed by Muslims or to set a narrative of ‘Hindu terror’, which was evident in the cases such as Asif Khan or Akhlaq or be it the recent one connected to Abdul Samad.