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The case of Hindu man Srinivas being beaten by Muslim mob for accompanying Muslim girl, false accusation, misreporting and more: Details

In 2023 alone, India has witnessed 100s of cases where Hindu-Muslim couples/ friends were doxxed, assaulted and harassed in the name of combating ‘Bhagwa love trap’ - a conspiracy theory about Hindus luring impressionable Muslim women into their love trap.

On 9th December this year, a Hindu man was mercilessly beaten by a mob of 18-20 Islamists for accompanying a Muslim girl on his motorcycle. The incident took place in Davanagere city of Karnataka.

As per reports, the victim was identified as a 26-year-old Srinivas. He is a resident of Jolly Nagara in Davanagere and belongs to the Dalit community. Islamists brutally assaulted him for giving a ride to a 17-year-old hijabi girl.

Srinivas was taken to a banquet hall (Shadi Mahal) and kept there against his will at night. He was then dumped by the mob of Islamists in a secluded place on the morning of 10th December. At that time, the victim was in an unconscious state.

Srinivas being treated at the hospital, image via HT Kannada

During the assault, the Islamists accused him of being in an affair with the Muslim girl. Nonetheless, on regaining consciousness, Srinivas dialled his mother using a stranger’s phone and narrated his ordeal.

The victim was thereafter admitted to Davangere district hospital. A case was registered against the Islamists under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily hurt) and relevant provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

In 2023 alone, India has witnessed 100s of cases where Hindu-Muslim couples/ friends were doxxed, assaulted and harassed in the name of combating ‘Bhagwa love trap’ – a conspiracy theory of Hindus luring impressionable Muslim women into their love trap.

In a tweet on 14th December, the Davangere district police took to X (formerly Twitter) to inform that two people have been arrested in connection to the case.

Video of the assault goes viral

In the meantime, a video of the Islamist mob harassing Srinivas and the 17-year-old girl went viral on social media. They were seen manhandling the victim and even attempting to remove the hijab of the Muslim girl.

The Islamists were also seen intimidating the girl and forcing her to give the cell phone number of her family members to them. “Dikha na (show me),” one man said while trying to remove her hijab.

The accused men also recorded the video of the assault, which was later shared on multiple local news media channels. Srinivas’ only fault was that he chose to give a ride home to the Muslim girl at her request.

Muslim girl’s mother alleges ‘rape’ by Srinivas

In a shocking turn of events, the girl’s mother filed a complaint against the Hindu man for rape. A case was thus registered against the victim under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376(2) and Prevention of Child Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The development was confirmed to Hindustan Times by Women police station inspector Noor Ahmed. This was despite the fact that the Muslim girl was trying to persuade the Islamists to not hurt Srinivas.

As evident from the video footage, some of her co-religionists were trying to remove her hijab and capture her face in front of the camera. If it was a case of rape, then, the assault would have been limited to Srinivas and not extended to the girl (who is now being regarded as the ‘rape’ victim).

This discrepancy between the viral footage and the POCSO case has been pointed out in a report published by Asianet News.

Hindu organisations support the victim, Muslim girl’s family goes missing

Local Hindu organisations have extended their support to the victim Srinivas. They pointed out that the ‘rape allegations’ are a part of the conspiracy to falsely implicate the victim. They also demanded immediate action against the Islamists for mercilessly beating the victim.

On 11th December, Hindu Jagaran Manch leader Satish Pujari informed that the Muslim girl’s family went off the radar after filing the POCSO case.

”The girl who got the drop filed a rape case, and the girl’s family has been missing since. In this case, the police are not acting impartially.He complained that despite the fact that hundreds of people were attacked, only three benami were identified,” he was heard saying.

Mother of Srinivas along with other Hindu activists

Srinivas’ mother along with local Hindus conducted a press conference and demanded justice for his son.

Media channels amplify dubious claims of misbehaviour

Although Srinivas happens to be the victim in the case, his image was tarnished by the media. It is mind-boggling that certain media portals chose to believe that Srinivas committed ‘misbehaviour’ when the supposed victim (aka the Muslim girl) was seen trying to protect him from her radical co-religionists.

It is also important to note that if it was a case of ‘mob justice’, then, why did the same mob assault the supposed victim? While conveniently ignoring video footage and ‘common sense’, several media portals published headlines describing Srinivas as the perpetrator.

Hindu groups were also maligned as elements supporting a man accused of misbehaviour against a woman. “Youth attacked in Karnataka for misbehaving with girl, Hindu activists demand action,” wrote The Siasat Daily.

Screengrab of the article by the Siasat Daily

Similar claims were made by Kannada-language newspaper ‘Vijayvani’ in an article published on 12th December this year.

Screengrab of the article by Vijayvani

It should be mentioned that the initial reports by Hindustan Times, Asianet News, and TV9 Kannada nowhere mentioned any case of ‘misbehaviour.’

As expected, Islamists were seen celebrating the attack on Hindu Dalit man on social media. “Good job,” they wrote on Facebook.

Islamists on social media hail attack on Srinivas

Moral policing cases in Karnataka

On 26th August this year, the Bengaluru police arrested a man named Jakir Ahamad after he harassed a burqa-clad Muslim woman for travelling with a Hindu man.

The matter came to light a day earlier on Friday (August 25) when a popular Twitter user (@BefittingFacts) shared the video of the moral policing on X (formerly Twitter).

Jakir had stopped the woman travelling on a bike with a Hindu man and abused her with the choicest of expletives. “What is your name? Roam without this burqa…remove your burqa,” the accused was seen engaging in moral policing.

The 21-year-old woman stood her ground and retorted back by saying ‘Meri Marzi (My wish to be with this Hindu man).’ However, the abuses and expletives continued.

In his tweet, ‘Befitting Facts’ wrote, “This is happening in Bangalore. Priyank Kharge, a lady in Burqa is being harassed by Muslims for roaming with a Hindu man. See the language being used against her. They are literally asking her to remove her burqa. @BlrCityPolice Please take strict action against them.”

On Sunday (August 27), the Bengaluru police informed that the accused was nabbed within 24 hours. As per a report by Telangana Today, the accused was identified as Jakir Ahamad. A case was lodged against him East Cyber Economic and Narcotics (CEN) Police Station.

‘Bhagwa love trap’ conspiracy theory and its aftermath

‘Bhagwa Love trap’ is a baseless theory about Hindu outfits, supposedly training Hindu youth to lure, and entrap Muslim women and turn them into non-Muslims. OpIndia has reported that an Islamic cleric by the name of Sajjad Nomani has been making such outrageous claims since 2021.

The conspiracy theory soon took the form of a social media hashtag, which Islamists used to share videos of random hijab-wearing Muslim women and their male Hindu friends/ acquaintances and partners without their consent.

The posts are often accompanied by emotional messages and seek public help in identifying the couples. Soon after, social media was rife with videos of Islamist mobs ambushing random Hindu-Muslim couples.

This would then be followed by heated arguments, physical assault on Hindu men, and even molestation of Muslim women. The victims have been targeted on roads, restaurants, eateries, and even hotels.

Based on local reports and social media videos, OpIndia has compiled several cases (herehere and here) where Hindu men and Muslim women were attacked by extremists under the pretext of the ‘Bhagwa love trap.’

OpIndia has published an investigative report, highlighting how Islamists are using Whatsapp groups to target Hindu-Muslim couples.

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