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Journalist gets threats from Islamists after reporting on how some Madarsas refused to celebrate International Yoga Day even after circular from State: Details

In one of the screenshots shared by the journalist, a Facebook user who appeared to be a Maulvi urged his followers to keep a thick baton with them while giving an interview to Headlines India.

On June 26, founder of online news channel Headlines India Naveen Chauhan said in a Facebook post that he has been getting threats since the channel published an expose on a madrasa in Uttar Pradesh. In its report, Naveen Chauhan went to a madarsa in UP and showed how International Yoga Day was allegedly not celebrated despite a circular from the state government to all educational institutes.

In his Facebook post, Chauhan said, “I have been receiving threats for the last 24 hours. Few extremists have conspired against me. They have asked their followers to attack me whenever they see me. I am not scared. I will stick to my words”.

In a follow-up post on June 27, he wrote, “Mountain of threats has been received. But I was never scared, and I will never get scared. I was bold-faced and will remain the same.”

Threats and calls for boycott

Since the report went viral on social media platforms, Chauhan has received threats from Islamists. Two screenshots were shown in a follow-up report where they talked about the threats.

In the first screenshot, a Facebook user had urged his followers to do “khatirdari” of Chauhan if they see him. For those who are unaware, here, “khatirdari” means “beat up”, “attack”, or “cause physical harm” when used in this context.

Source: Headlines India video

In the second screenshot, a Facebook user who appeared to be a Maulvi urged his followers to keep a thick baton with them while giving an interview to Headlines India.

Source: Headlines India video

OpIndia scanned social media platforms and found a few posts indulged in attacking Naveen Chauhan. The videos also received abusive comments. Several posts used #bycotheadlinesnews hashtag.

A YouTube user who goes by the handle RazaHindustani9196 said, “Why should we celebrate Yog Diwas? These saffron terrorists forcefully enter everywhere. They should be aware that namaz is also a type of Yog. How many Hindus follow it?”

Source: YouTube

A Twitter user Masroof Rahimi said, “Naveen Chauhan is a blot of the name of journalism. Hindu-Muslim conflicts are happening because of journalists like you. Does any other religious place get raided like that? You have used a derogatory tone while talking to the principal of the madarsa.”

Another Twitter user Faheem Ahmed accused Headlines India of targeting particular religion. Tagging Saharanpur police and administration, he wrote, “Headlines India’s journalist Naveen Chouhan’s journalism is running by targeting a particular religion. It can create law and order problems in the city. I request you to please look into it.”

Twitter user Mohd Nijamudin accused Chouhan of instigating Muslims in the “Muslim area” and urged everyone not to give interviews to the channel.

Twitter user Anas Malik demanded his arrest.

Facebook user Choudhary Rizwan urged everyone to teach Chauhan a “lesson” and asked everyone to boycott him.

Headlines News exposed madarsa for not celebrating International Yoga Day

On June 21, Chouhan went to a local Madarsa to find out if the Islamic education institute was celebrating International Yoga Day or now. At the madarsa, when he questioned the principal or head of the institute, Nazim Nadvi, he got agitated first. One of the madarsa employees tried to snatch the camera from the cameraperson.

Later, Nadvi said that the senior students exercise daily. However, there were no special celebrations for the Yoga Day. He emphasised that there was no restriction on Muslim students against Yoga. When Chouhan questioned a few students, only one admitted to exercising in the morning, and the rest said they did not even know what International Yoga Day was.

The madarsa administration rushed to the spot where Chouhan was talking to students and allegedly signalled the students to go back to classes. One of the Maulvis at the madarsa said younger students were unaware as they do not participate in an exercise routine in the morning. A teacher at madarsa Mohammad Shahjahan claimed there was no difference between varjish and yoga. Children know it by the name “varjish”.

Towards the end of the report, a teacher called some senior students who did a few unsynchronised exercises in front of the camera, claiming exercise was part of their daily routine.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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