Amrit Hallan

Is the news of beef eater raped in Mewat fake or real?

Very subtly, a news about a beef eater being raped in U.P. is being spread around by some anti-Hindu, anti-BJP journalists. Until a few months ago I used to refrain from such terms, but the way these people post messages and try to spread hatred towards a particular community, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to use such terminologies.

Cow vigilantes (called gau-rakshaks) going on a rampage in various northern states and killing people just for transporting cows or on the suspicion of having consumed cow meat have already become international news. It’s as if violent groups are running around on the streets.

If the foreign press tries to create some mischief it can be understood because there might be some international vested interests involved, but Indian journalists? Why would they want to incite one community against another? Don’t they have at least some sense of responsibility towards their own country? Don’t they have even an iota of remorse if these sorts of hate messages they spread around cause enmity among communities?

This is an old news, about a woman being raped on the suspicion of eating beef. It isn’t even confirmed whether this actually happened or not. And besides, it didn’t even happen in Uttar Pradesh.

Recently, one of these tweets appeared from a former journalist Sagarika Ghose:

As you can see the date, out of the blues, she posted the update on 7 May, 2017. But if you visit the link above, you will see that the news was published on 12 September, 2016. This is not to say that the event becomes less heinous because it’s late.

Further, even the link shows an NDTV video, a channel that is known for creating fake news against the BJP on a routine basis.

Since these journalists are always giddy about sharing such negative links, another journalist from the NDTV stock tweeted this message about the same fake news of someone being raped by the cow vigilantes, in U.P.

The actual incident happened in Mewat.

Although I haven’t been able to locate the original U.P. Police response to the Pallavi Ghosh tweet, this Twitter thread seems to show that the State police categorically denied that such an incident took place:

This Twitter thread from Rupa Subramanya explains, with references from newspapers, how the bizarre logic that the culprits couldn’t be Muslims, was derived:

In this Indian Express news report you can read what genius logic was used to arrive at a conclusion that the rapists were not Muslims (as it becomes apparent in the statement of the victim) but Hindus:

One of the rape victims, in her statement to the police had also revealed that at the time of the attack, the accused were calling each other by “Muslim names”. “There was a Quran lying at a place in the house, which fell down on the floor during the attack. None of the accused realised that it was the holy book. Had they been Muslims, they would have immediately reacted. It was then that the complainant claims she pointed out that they cannot disrespect Quran like this. Upon this, one of the accused picked it up and placed it back. It was enough of a hint that they were not Muslims but had forged their identities”, another senior officer told The Indian Express.

So, according to the police, Muslims can rape a woman, but cannot insult the Quran, and if the Quran is insulted, then it must be some non-Muslims pretending to be Muslims. In hindsight, the logic might actually not even be that bizarre as it seems, but I don’t want to visit such a nasty terrain right now.

Conflicting reports are appearing if you do some research on “Mewat rape case”. In the above Indian express link, the victims reported that the culprits were calling each other by Muslim names. If they wanted to “punish” the victims for eating beef, why would they call each other by Muslim names? They would have gone to extra lengths to show that they were gau-rakshaks.

The angle that the women could have been attacked by a vigilante group emerged when the victims came in contact with activist Shabnam Hashmi (this reference has appeared in one of the Twitter threads mentioned above).

This link categorically quotes the police that the crime is not related to cow vigilantism. Another interesting fact is that the culprits seem to be close to the family or at least the families of the victims and the culprits seem to know each other.

The point is, maybe the attack WAS a case of vigilantism and the culprits must be brought to book and they must be severely punished and if possible, an example must be set. Strong political statements should also be made (which are frustratingly lacking). But the way these journalists are spreading such news can cause irreparable communal damage. Specifically using community names like this — Muslim has raped a Hindu woman or a Hindu has raped a Muslim woman — can only cause communal tension and solves no real purpose because a crime is a crime, no matter the members of which community commit it.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?