Two days after the Assam police arrested Gujarat Congress supporter and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani over his objectionable tweets, Scroll published a report to attack the BJP government in Gujarat. In a bid to portray the BJP government as intolerant and remorseless toward its detractors, the leftist propaganda website ‘Scroll’ resorted to peddling fake news by distorting a 2016 news story.
The leftist media portal wrote that “four Dalit tanners were killed by an upper-caste mob for skinning a dead cow in Una in 2016”, whereas the fact is that the villagers had beaten up four cow smugglers for skinning a live cow. They were not ‘killed’ by any ‘upper-caste’ mob, as claimed by Scroll.
On April 23, Saturday, Scroll published an opinion piece titled, “Jignesh Mevani arrest shows Modi’s critics don’t have the same freedom of speech as his supporters”.
#Opinion: #JigneshMevani arrest shows Modi’s critics don’t have the same freedom of speech as his supporters— scroll.in (@scroll_in) April 23, 2022
Once again, criticism of the prime minister has been framed as criminal conspiracy & a threat to peace, @p_semolina writes. ✍️https://t.co/icLU25ymbX
Ipsita Chakravarty, the report’s author, lamented how criticism of the prime minister has been presented as a criminal conspiracy and a threat to peace under the Modi regime and has led to the unjust arrests of critics such as Gujarat Congress supporter and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani.
She explained how for more than two decades, the BJP wielded absolute power in Gujarat, until 2016 when Mevani rose to prominence as the face of Dalit agitations in Gujarat. Here, she cited a 2016 report wherein four Dalit men were allegedly beaten up by cow protection vigilantes in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district, the protest against which had helped Mevani to rise to fame.
The author at this point wrote, “Mevani rose to prominence as the face of Dalit agitations in Gujarat in 2016. Four Dalit tanners were killed by an upper-caste mob for skinning a dead cow in Una. It triggered protests that lasted months. Mevani, who was an organising force of the protests and won the Gujarat assembly elections in 2017, seemed to offer an alternative politics that challenged the BJP in its bastion.”
There are multiple reports on the public platform, in fact, many by other far-left news houses also, that distinctly mention that the cow smugglers were beaten up by the villagers for skinning a cow. None of the reports back then said that the Dalits were ‘killed’, that too by people belonging to the ‘upper-caste’.
The Scroll had also, in fact, then reported that the four Dalit men were assaulted in Gir Somnath district’s Una taluka on July 11, 2016.
Their report also had no mention of the 4 men being killed by an upper-caste mob.
The fictitious killing and caste angle were clearly fabricated by Ipsita Chakravarty, who claims to be a ‘journalist’ for the far-left news website ‘Scroll’. She resorted to peddling misinformation by twisting the story in order to cast aspersions on the BJP government, a strategy regularly adopted by the far-left news websites like the ‘Scroll’.
In fact, last year when India was fighting the deadly pandemic, Rohan Venkat, who claims to be a ‘journalist’ for the far-left news website ‘Scroll’, resorted to peddling misinformation by sharing old and misleading reports to attack the Modi government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rohan Venkat had taken to Twitter to post a report published by another far-left news house ‘The Hindu’ to insinuate that the Modi government is considering using Gayatri Mantra to treat Covid-19. Then too, OpIndia had presented facts to counter the false propaganda being peddled against the Government by left-wing propagandists in the media of the likes of “Scroll”.
The same year, Scroll also published a misleading headline to denigrate the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. The headline of the article suggested that the FIR was filed against a man simply because he used social media to seek help for oxygen for his grandfather. The portal had, however, conveniently skipped out mentioning that the FIR against the man has been filed, not because he demanded oxygen on Twitter, but because he tried to spread misleading information about the oxygen supply and the coronavirus.
OpIndia, had in fact then, chronicled 12 such instances that exhibited how the left-leaning online portals had indulged in promoting vaccine hesitancy in the months leading to the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in India.