The recent gangrape and murder of two minor Dalit sisters in the Uttar Pradesh district of Lakhimpur Kheri by six men including Junaid, Sohail, Arif, Hafiz, and two others has shocked the entire nation, but the utterly distorted and exclusive coverage of the incident by Western media exposes the intent of these outlets and their tenacity to push their agenda in a subtle manner.
It is pertinent to mention that out of the 6 accused persons, 5 belonged to the Muslim community. The 1 who was Hindu, Chottu (Gautam) had introduced the sisters to the other accused. The rape and murder were done by the other accused, who were introduced to the sisters by Chottu, who was a neighbour of the girls. Some reports also indicate that Chottu himself belonged to the Dalit caste.
The BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Reuters have all reported on the case exclusively, making explicit reference to the “hierarchical and discriminatory Hindu caste system” and specifically omitting the names of the accused men, which were openly announced by authorities after they were promptly arrested within hours of the crime being reported. Here is how all of them reported the incident with their prejudiced opinions subtly injected in between the lines.
Report by Reuters mentions ‘ancient caste system’
Reuters reported the incident on September 15, stating the police arrested six persons “in connection with the alleged rape and murder of two girls from a lower-caste community.” It is pertinent to note here that the whole report makes no mention of the names of the accused which were made public by the police within hours after their prompt arrest following the incident.
Arrests were already made, according to the Reuters report. The UP Police had notified the public about the arrests during a news conference, and the identities of the accused were also revealed during that press conference. Therefore, Reuters was aware of the identities of the arrested accused, but they deliberately opted to exclude the names of the arrested accused in their article.
The report also tries to push the propaganda of India as a deeply divided society based on classes and hierarchy. In the later parts of the report, it is mentioned that people and families in India “follow an ancient caste system.” The intent of Reuters for using such a prejudiced connotation for India can be contested by their resolve is fairly clear i.e., to defame India and capitalize on India’s perceived schisms.
Washington Post report mentions ‘India’s rigid caste hierarchy’
The Washington Post also mentioned that six people were arrested by the police but deliberately missed their names. The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested six persons named Junaid, Sohail, Arif, Hafiz, Karimuddin and Chhotu alias Gautam for sexually assaulting the girls and brutally murdering them.
WaPo further mentioned that the girl belonged to the Dalit community, “the lowest rung of India’s rigid caste hierarchy.” WaPo deliberately made a reference to untouchability, malpractice that persisted in India under colonial rule much before the independence.
The Washington Post also made a reference to the social media outrage that followed after the incident regarding the punishment of the accused and instead portrayed it as an outrage against the state government, which has acted more than promptly and assured that the family of the victims face no single challenge in the future and justice is delivered to them on time. The state government has provided ex gratia financial assistance to the family through the district administration and has assured that the family is taken care of in future.
The Guardian report refers UP CM Yogi as a ‘hardline Hindu nationalist monk’ failing to protect women
The United Kingdom-based The Guardian has gone a step ahead in portraying India in a bad light. In addition to intentionally omitting the names of the accused, The Guardian referred to the girls as Dalits, “the lowest in India’s hierarchical and discriminatory Hindu caste system,” and labels them as “untouchables.”
Again, labelling the social media outrage against the culprits as against the government, The Guardian stated that the incident triggered protests and criticism of the ruling government of Uttar Pradesh, led by the “hardline Hindu nationalist monk Yogi Adityanath, who has been accused of not doing enough to protect women from rape and sexual violence, particularly those from poor and lower-caste backgrounds.”
This mention of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is well known for his policy of zero tolerance against any type of crime and special attention to incidents involving women as victims, exposes the prejudiced notion of India and the hatred for the Hindus and nationalist personalities.
BBC report blames ‘Hindu hierarchy’ for the rape and murder of two girls
The BBC story has factual inaccuracies about the incident. The first is that the identities of the accused were not published by them, despite the fact that the names were openly revealed by the police in a news conference.
According to the BBC, “The girls, both below 18, belonged to the Dalit caste, at the bottom of a deeply discriminatory Hindu hierarchy.” By portraying Hindus as “highly discriminatory,” the BBC attempted to indicate that the incident occurred because of the prevalence of a “Hindu hierarchy,” rather than because of a crime committed by individuals who had already been apprehended by police.
The BBC also sought to cast doubt on the rapid response taken by Uttar Pradesh police. The official British broadcaster mentioned the UP Police encounter in quotations, judging its credibility. Furthermore, the article states, “There is a deep suspicion of the police within the Dalit community,” insinuating that the police, who apprehended the perpetrators within hours of the incident, were not trustworthy.
OpIndia had already reported on the bias of foreign media and addressed many issues in detail. The conclusion was that these agencies bet on India’s perceived schisms, hunting for disagreements and politically charged features. Furthermore, this not only causes social unrest in the country but also tarnishes India’s worldwide image, compromising India’s diplomatic connections and business interests. The full report can be read here.