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From ThePrint to Pakistan, Muslim victimhood and false narrative on Delhi anti-Hindu Riots gets fanned by Reuters just in time for Lok Sabha elections

News portals from Pakistan and Bangladesh also fuelled the same narrative along the lines of Reuters and others. They blatantly ignored the brutal murders of several Hindus including IB officer Ankit Sharma, head constable Ratan Lal, Dilbar Negi and others, at the hands of Muslim mobs.

Amidst the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2024, a disturbing trend of biased reporting emerged as major international news outlets like Reuters and news portals like The Print propagated a one-sided, false and misleading narrative of the anti-Hindu Delhi Riots of February 2020. News portals from Pakistan and Bangladesh also fuelled the same narrative along the lines of Reuters and others. They blatantly ignored the brutal murders of several Hindus including IB officer Ankit Sharma, head constable Ratan Lal, Dilbar Negi and others, at the hands of Muslim mobs.

On 27th May, The Print and Pakistani paper Dawn published a wire report issued by Reuters that focused solely on the alleged Muslim victims of the riots. The report was a clear attempt to paint a picture of unilateral suffering and victimhood. The report quoted a person named Suhel Mansuri who claimed to have suffered several injuries during the riots. He claimed to have voted for “peace and brotherhood” amidst so-called rising religious tensions.

Source: Dawn Newspaper, a Pakistani Daily.

However, the report omitted the atrocities committed against Hindus during the riots. Not to forget, IB staffer Ankit Sharma’s body was recovered from a drain with multiple stab wounds. The gruesome image of his hand tied to rope while his body was still submerged in the drain still haunts the nation. Head Constable Ratan Lal was brutally murdered by a Muslim mob led by burqa-clad women. Dilbar Negi’s limbs were chopped and he was burnt alive. Negi’s charred body was recovered after the riots from the shop where he used to work.

The report also omitted the fact that Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) then-councillor Tahir Hussain was actively involved in instigating mob against Hindus. He is also an accused in Ankit Sharma’s murder case.

Similarly, a report from Pakistan Today, that was based on the report by Kashmir Media Service, a Pakistan-funded media outlet, described the Delhi Riots of 2020 as an “anti-Muslim pogrom”. The report highlighted the plight of Muslim victims such as Saleem Kassar who claimed to have lost his brother. However, these reports completely ignored the fact that in one of the cases, the court itself observed that the riots were anti-Hindu.

Source: Pakistan Today

A flawed narrative

The dubious reporting by these outlets feeds into a false narrative that Hindus were behind the riots that took place on the 23rd and 24th February of 2020. The selective coverage is no less than a disservice to the truth and to the victims who lost their lives in the violence.

On the contrary, OpIndia’s detailed coverage of the Delhi Riots 2020 provided a stark contrast. We have documented how Muslim mobs brutally murdered several Hindus, destroyed properties in a planned way and attempted to destroy India’s image on international platforms.

It has come to light that several so-called activists, NGOs, and others were actively involved in planning the riots. Leaders like Tahir Hussain, activists like Umar Khalid, and Pinjra Tod, celebrities like Sushant Singh, and others played their role in not only fuelling anti-CAA sentiments but also ensuring there was violence in the national capital when then-President Donald Trump was on a visit to India. In fact, it was revealed during hearing of Umar Khalid’s bail plea that he was actively involved in creating narrative in favour of Delhi Riots accused for months before he got arrested and several activists and celebrities helped him.

Ignored facts and selective reporting

These reports quoted Muslim voters who expressed their dissatisfaction with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and accused them of inciting hatred against Muslims. However, they either failed to address the concerns of Hindu residents who were victims of the riots or at least watered it down by placing their statements towards the end of the reports.

Political exploitation

On 21st May, The Telegraph wrote a detailed report on the matter and quoted Muslim victim Aish Mohammad, who allegedly lost his house and continued to suffer because of the persistent tension in the area where he lives. The report came days before when the people of Delhi voted in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

The portrayal of the events of the Delhi Riots just before elections by the International media and certain Indian outlets appeared to be driven by an agenda to paint the BJP and Hindus in a negative light while blatantly ignoring the involvement of Muslims and detailed planning by Muslim leaders and political vested interest groups that led to the 2020 violence.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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