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Hindu rights activist Rashmi Samant faces police action for tweeting about Udupi bathroom videos issue after Alt News’ Zubair dogwhistles against her

Later that evening, police called Samant's father multiple times, trying to locate Rashmi. Her lawyer said, "It is clear that the police visited my client's residence in connection with Rashmi's recent tweets condemning the secret video recording of Hindu girls in a college toilet."

On 24th July, Udupi police launched a campaign to locate Hindu human rights activist Rashmi Samant after she raised the voice of Hindu female victims whose videos were allegedly recorded by girls of the Muslim community in washrooms of a private institution.

Advocate Adhitya Srinivasan, who represents Samant, shared the detailed ordeal faced by Rashmi Samant’s family. He said at 8 PM, a group of policemen visited Rashmi’s residence when she was not at home. The police questioned her parents. They were repeatedly asked about Rashmi’s whereabouts.

Later that evening, police called her father multiple times, trying to locate Rashmi. He said, “It is clear that the police visited my client’s residence in connection with Rashmi’s recent tweets condemning the secret video recording of Hindu girls in a college toilet.”

He further added Rashmi is a staunch advocate for human rights and has consistently championed genuine causes at home and abroad. This includes publishing a report on the anti-Hindu violence in Leicester in the House of Commons in the British Parliament”.

Furthermore, he said Rashmi’s tweets were a fair and reasonable exercise of her freedom of speech and expression. “As there is no constitutional basis to restrict her speech, the state police seems to have adopted the disturbing “chilling effect” approach, which BTW has no constitutional sanction,” Adhitya said.

He said visiting Rashmi’s house would not “somehow magically” make the issue go away. Notably, the matter is already in the public domain and has been reported extensively by local and mainstream media.

He added, “It is worrying that the authorities (who are responsible for securing the human rights of citizens) treat my client, Rashmi Samant and her family in this manner for raising awareness about a crime that has come to light in their hometown.”

Tweets of Rashmi that allegedly caused a reaction from the police

On 24th July at 2:19 AM, Rashmi published a tweet thread questioning everyone why the Udupi incident of secretly recording videos was not being talked about. She wrote, “I’m from Udupi, and nobody is talking about Alimatul Shaifa, Shabanaz and Aliya, who placed cameras in female toilets of their college to record hundreds of unsuspecting Hindu girls. The perpetrators in community WhatsApp groups circulated videos and photos.”

Furthermore, she added that many of the girls featured in the video were depressed and disturbed to the extent they were contemplating self-harm or suicide. “Yet, this issue is not being condemned with the severity it deserves,” she wrote.

Drawing a parallel to the Ajmer mass rape incident from 1992, she wrote, “Let me remind you of what happened in Ajmer in the year 1992 where hundreds of girls were raped with blackmail of releasing nude photos that were illegally solicited. I cannot bear to think that Udupi could have turned to another Ajmer.”

Urging everyone to take action, she said, “If you have one last bone of conscience left in you, talk about what happened to the Hindu girls in Udupi so that they don’t dare to mess with our girls again.”

Media categorically mentioned girls of one community recorded videos of other community

The likes of propaganda website Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair accused Rashmi of spreading misinformation and giving the incident a communal angle. Contrary to the narrative being set by Zubair and his ilk, the media has categorically reported that the incident involved two communities.

In fact, Zubair relied heavily on The News Minute report that mentioned in the first paragraph itself that three Muslim girls were suspended for allegedly secretly recording videos of Hindu girls in the washrooms. TNM called it an apparent case of “bullying” but did not say it was a rumour that Muslim girls recorded a video of a Hindu girl. Here is an archived link to the TNM report.

Source: TNM

TNM further accused right-wing groups of “mobilising public opinion by spreading the rumour that the videos were shared to hundreds of Muslim men from the community as part of a “larger Jihadi conspiracy”. Interestingly, the right-wing did not make such claims, but the media initially made the claims, and pro-Hindu social media users only shared the information. During the research, OpIndia found “two communities” was mentioned in several initial reports. On 21st July, Mangalore Today pointed that the incident involved two different communities with one group of girl students “placing the camera to take pictures of students from another community”. The report further mentioned that the pictures were then shared on WhatsApp group.

Source: Mangalore Today.

Deccan Herald’s report from 21st July also mentioned that girl students from one community had placed a mobile camera in the toilet to take pictures of girl students from another community, and then the pictures were shared on WhatsApp group.

OpIndia is trying to independently verify the names of the accused.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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