A video of a man being confronted and beaten by a mob is going viral on social media platforms, with the claim that the victim is a Muslim youth and is being attacked because of his religion.
Several Hindumisic users, including HindutvaWatch and inveterate fake news peddler Ashok Swain, shared the video alleging that a Muslim youth was assaulted by a group of Hindu men for talking to a Hindu girl in Madhya Pradesh, India.
HindutvaWatch, a Twitter account notorious for pushing anti-Hindu bigotry by unjustifiably giving a communal flair to criminal incidents with no religious motives, shared a thread alleging that a group of ‘extremists’ attacked a Muslim boy when he was talking to a girl about ‘books’.
The account also shared a copy of FIR in the subsequent tweet. The FIR, which was filed by the victim, says that the boy was attacked on 3 January 2023 when he was on his way back to his home. As per the complaint, a group of 3-4 men waylaid him and started abusing him over his ‘meeting’ with a girl. The FIR has no mention of the victim alleging that his assailants were Hindus or whether they had attacked him for being a Muslim or because the girl he spoke to was a Hindu.
However, colouring the version of the actual events with its inherent bias, HindutvaWatch insinuated that the Muslim youth was attacked because of his religious identity and his audacity to talk to a Hindu girl.
Since the claim dovetailed perfectly with Ashok Swain’s agenda to malign the Indian government as anti-Muslim, he instantly lapped up the claims and reshared the video, claiming that members of a ‘Hindu supremacist vigilante’ group thrashed a Muslim man for talking to a Hindu girl.
It is pertinent to note that Ashok Swain has been caught sharing communally sensitive fake news for a long time now. Recently, he shared fake news that a Muslim man was assaulted on a train in Moradabad and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram. The UP police later busted his lies, asserting that the man was beaten up by a group of people after a fellow female passenger accused him of molestation.
The Muslim youth had reportedly menaced the girl, threatened her with death on her refusal to marry him
As it turns out, Ashok Swain has peddled fake news in this case as well. The facts of the matter as claimed by anti-Hindu elements on social media do not add up. In addition to the FIR having no mention of the religious motive behind the attack against the Muslim youth, a report published 14 days ago in Dainik Bhaskar reveals shocking details of the matter that anti-Hindu elements have assiduously kept under wraps.
According to the report, the matter pertains to the molestation of a B.Com final-year female student. The Muslim youth, Shehbaz, had forcibly pulled the girl student’s hand while leaving the cyber cafe, the report mentions. He started threatening her that if she refuses to marry him, he will kill her and her parents. The girl then went back to her village and narrated the incident to her parents, who filed a complaint with the police.
As per her complaint, the accused, Shehbaz, had been harassing her for the past several days. On the day she visited the cyber cafe, the boy surrounded her in front of the shop and forced her to get married, the Dainik Bhaskar report said. When the girl threatened him with filing a complaint with the police, he reportedly pulled her hand and threatened to kill her.
The accused also threatened the girl with spreading rumours that she was in an affair with him should she refuse to marry him. As she resisted the boy’s advances, a crowd gathered around the cafe. Among the crowd were members of the Hindu Jagran Manch, who came to her rescue, accosted the boy and got him arrested. The police filed a case against the boy under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation).