On September 1, Islamist-sympathiser and columnist with Shekhar Gupta’s The Print, CJ Werleman, shared an undated video on his Twitter profile and claimed that a group of Hindu men desecrated and destroyed a Muslim Graveyard in Nathan, India. He wrote, “Hindutva radicals desecrate and destroy a Muslim graveyard in Nathan, India.”
Several Islamists picked up the video to defame Hindus. Bibi Sajeda wrote, “Are these bhakts agents of urbanism? Which authority has given them this assignment?”
Aidarouss Ahmed Hirsi said,” #HinduvtaTerrorist militias destroy a #Muslim cemetery in Nathan, #India”
Abdul Hameed Lone said, “Hindutva radicals desecrate & destroy a Muslim graveyard in Nathan, India. This is a question mark for the international community as to where India is heading in the South Asian subcontinent & u are all silent.”
Kamaal Khan, who appeared to be associated with Tipu Sultan Party, wrote, “Hindutva radicals desecrate and destroy a Muslim graveyard in Nathan, India.”
News Agency MuslimMirror wrote, “Hindutva radicals desecrate and destroy a Muslim graveyard in presence of police in Nathan village, Naggar Tehsil in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India.”
Fake claim by The Print journalist
All the claims made by CJ Werleman in his tweet were wrong. First, the incident is not from Nathan as claimed by him. OpIndia reached out to Kullu Police, under which Nathan village in Naggar Tehsil is located. SHO Ashok Sharma, Kullu Police, said that the video is not from the Kullu district and no such incident took place in the area.
The video is from Nahan, the headquarters of Sirmaur District in Himachal Pradesh, and it does not show a Muslim Graveyard destroyed by ‘Hindutva radicals’ as claimed by Werleman. Actually, the video shows an illegal majar being demolished by some Hindu activists with the cooperation of the administration. If one watches the video carefully, a couple of policemen can be seen present at the spot. This indicates that it was not some vandalism, but had the support of the administration.
Kamal Gautam, the General Secretary of Hindu Jagaran Manch in Himachal Pradesh had already posted the same video yesterday on Twitter. In his tweet, he had informed that the Sirmaur unit of Hindu Jagaran Manch had “uprooted an illegal majar constructed by Islamic jihadis under their land jihad agenda at Nahan.” He added that “Jihadis were trying to encroach this precious prime land near medical college Nahan”.
A report by Punjab Kesari confirms this incident, which says that the municipal board demolished the illegal majar with the cooperation of HJM members. The report states that some unknown people had set up the illegal majar on government land near the Dr Y S Parmar Medical College in Nahan. The organisation had informed the urban body about the illegal construction, after which it was demolished and the construction material stocked at the site were removed.
HJM state secretary Manab Sharma said that some unknown people had gathered construction material to build the illegal majar in the night. After they informed the authorities about the same, the illegal construction was removed in the presence of administration and police officials.
Therefore, the video shows an illegal majar being demolished by Hindu Jagaran Manch with the full cooperation of the administration and police, and it was not a Muslim graveyard destroyed by ‘Hindutva radicals’ as claimed by The Print journalist.
CJ Werleman has a history of making false claims
This is not the first time Werleman has published a fake report to claim there is Islamophobia in India. On several occasions, he had made false allegations that the Indian government is suppressing Muslims. In August 2018, he took to Twitter to wrongly claim that the BJP had banned the slaughter of livestock during Eid. Werlemen also claimed that the Police Officer was forcing an Imam to declare “Qurbani is a punishable crime” to his followers in the video that he had attached. In the same year, he posted a video of claiming ‘Hindutva fanatics’ destroying 25 Muslim owned businesses and properties in Aurangabad on 25th March’.
CJ Werlemen appears to have a particular grudge against Uttar Pradesh, probably because a saffron-clad monk is the Chief Minister of the state. In several tweets, he had mentioned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a ‘Hindutva terrorist’.
In 2018, Kasganj Police had to refute his allegations after Werlemen accused them of teaming up with ‘Hindu extremists’ to target Muslims. In a separate instance, this time not involving Uttar Pradesh, Werlemen used a video depicting the violence during the Bhima-Koregaon clashes in Maharashtra and claimed that it, in fact, showed Hindus destroying Muslim property.