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Abhijit Iyer-Mitra makes offensive remark against AltNews co-founder Mohd Zubair

Iyer-Mitra is associated with The Print and several Twitter users have demanded that the publication drop his columns

04 Jun 2020

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

The hate speech pandemic is spreading faster and wider than the coronavirus in India! The number of vile comments against minorities and their subsequent ostracisation is for everyone to see. However, a recent tweet by Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and a defence economics specialist, has showcased just how low one can stoop.

On May 31, Mohammed Zubair, the Co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews, had tweeted from his official Twitter handle @zoo_bear calling out Dr. Aarti Lalchandani, Principal – Kanpur Medical College for her statement where she called Tablighi Jamaat members “terrorists” and said that the government was wasting resources on them instead of putting them in solitary confinement in jail.

 

 

It was in response to this tweet that Abhijit Iyer-Mitra responded in a most vile and outrageous manner, calling Zubair “Jihadi Jabbar” and making offensive remarks against his mother, apart from outraging religious sentiments. Though the tweet has since been deleted, it has been screenshot and circulated to hold him accountable for his hateful comments.

He was called out by Pratik Sinha, the Co-founder of AltNews, who apprised users that Iyer-Mitra was associated with many organizations like India Today and was a regular on channels like Times Now and Republic TV.

 

 

He had earlier too made a similar remark against Mohammed Zubair.

 

 

Iyer-Mitra is associated with various publications, most famously including The Print which has regularly published his articles. After his response to Mohammed Zubair, several Twitter users, including journalists have asked the micro-blogging site to take away his blue-tick and demanded the organizations he is associated with to boycott him and drop his columns from their websites.

 

 

Prior to this, Iyer-Mitra has called AltNews an ISI Front, apparently in reply to Sinha’s tweet on his comment to Zubair. However, that tweet too has since been deleted.

 

 

Iyer-Mitra is a repeat offender and has spent 43 days in jail in 2018 for “insulting Odia sentiments and traditions” after he made offensive remarks about the Konark Sun Temple. At the time, many publications had defended him and condemned his arrest by saying it was an attack on free speech.

Twitter’s hate speech guidelines prohibit users from promoting violence or directly attacking / threatening people on the basis of race, religious affiliation, ethnicity, etc. Iyer-Mitra’s abusive rant against Mohammed Zubair is in gross violation of this policy and also the violent threats policy of the microblogging site.

However, even after repeated complaints, neither has his account been suspended nor has the verification tick been removed.

Related:

Why does the Adityanath gov't continue to ignore Dr Aarti Lalchandani’s anti-Muslim hate speech?

Continued and systematic vilification of minorities during lockdown: Report

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra makes offensive remark against AltNews co-founder Mohd Zubair

Iyer-Mitra is associated with The Print and several Twitter users have demanded that the publication drop his columns

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

The hate speech pandemic is spreading faster and wider than the coronavirus in India! The number of vile comments against minorities and their subsequent ostracisation is for everyone to see. However, a recent tweet by Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and a defence economics specialist, has showcased just how low one can stoop.

On May 31, Mohammed Zubair, the Co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews, had tweeted from his official Twitter handle @zoo_bear calling out Dr. Aarti Lalchandani, Principal – Kanpur Medical College for her statement where she called Tablighi Jamaat members “terrorists” and said that the government was wasting resources on them instead of putting them in solitary confinement in jail.

 

 

It was in response to this tweet that Abhijit Iyer-Mitra responded in a most vile and outrageous manner, calling Zubair “Jihadi Jabbar” and making offensive remarks against his mother, apart from outraging religious sentiments. Though the tweet has since been deleted, it has been screenshot and circulated to hold him accountable for his hateful comments.

He was called out by Pratik Sinha, the Co-founder of AltNews, who apprised users that Iyer-Mitra was associated with many organizations like India Today and was a regular on channels like Times Now and Republic TV.

 

 

He had earlier too made a similar remark against Mohammed Zubair.

 

 

Iyer-Mitra is associated with various publications, most famously including The Print which has regularly published his articles. After his response to Mohammed Zubair, several Twitter users, including journalists have asked the micro-blogging site to take away his blue-tick and demanded the organizations he is associated with to boycott him and drop his columns from their websites.

 

 

Prior to this, Iyer-Mitra has called AltNews an ISI Front, apparently in reply to Sinha’s tweet on his comment to Zubair. However, that tweet too has since been deleted.

 

 

Iyer-Mitra is a repeat offender and has spent 43 days in jail in 2018 for “insulting Odia sentiments and traditions” after he made offensive remarks about the Konark Sun Temple. At the time, many publications had defended him and condemned his arrest by saying it was an attack on free speech.

Twitter’s hate speech guidelines prohibit users from promoting violence or directly attacking / threatening people on the basis of race, religious affiliation, ethnicity, etc. Iyer-Mitra’s abusive rant against Mohammed Zubair is in gross violation of this policy and also the violent threats policy of the microblogging site.

However, even after repeated complaints, neither has his account been suspended nor has the verification tick been removed.

Related:

Why does the Adityanath gov't continue to ignore Dr Aarti Lalchandani’s anti-Muslim hate speech?

Continued and systematic vilification of minorities during lockdown: Report

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CJP writes to NBSA over Zee News' deeply communal broadcast on "Zameen Jihad"

The channel has submitted its response and the hearing will commence once NBSA resumes functioning

02 Jun 2020

zameen jihad

The channel allegedly borrowed the deeply communal term from social media and ran a complete show propagating various types of Jihad in the country categorising them as soft jihad and hard jihad.

In March, Zee News aired a programme hosted by Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary called “DNA: Jammu मेंज़मीन के ‘इस्लामीकरण’ का DNA टेस्ट” (DNA test of Islamic conversion of land in Jammu) available for public viewing on their YouTube channel at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R83Z_E6EM-0

CJP, as per protocol, first sent a complaint to Zee News and after having not received any response, approached the News Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA). Accordingly, the channel responded to the complaint to NBSA and CJP has also gone ahead and filed a rejoinder to this response.

What did Zee News broadcast?

In the program, the host, Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary, showed his viewers a Jihad diagram propagating various types of Jihad in the country categorising them as soft jihad and hard jihad. He then went to explain, “Hard Jihad includes Population Jihad, Love Jihad, Land Jihad, Education Jihad, Victim Jihad and Direct Jihad, while Soft Jihad includes Economic Jihad, History Jihad, Media Jihad, Movies and Songs Jihad and Secular Jihad.”

Apart from the extremely offensive and shockingly inflammatory content of this programme, what was especially disturbing was how the host, Mr. Chaudhary was encouraging people to tweet using #ZameenJihad a deeply communal hash tag, a brazenly provocative move that can also incite hate.

This show was heavily criticized by many well-known journalists as well as many regular netizens and also prompted a complaint by a citizen named Saket Gokhale to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

CJP’s complaint and Zee’s response 

In the complaint, CJP highlighted how the show violates the Code of Ethics and other guidelines set out by the NBSA such as ensuring neutrality, specific guidelines of impartiality and fairness, racial and religious harmony.

Zee News responded to this complaint saying that our assertions are baseless and frivolous. To this, CJP filed a rejoinder in response reiterating its earlier assertions as well as calling out the news channel on misreporting. CJP has further pointed out how Zee News has validated the use of the term “jihad” in a negative connotation and has clearly manipulated its meaning. Moreover, CJP has called out the channel’s anti-Muslim narrative, “the ‘perpetrated fears’ of ‘unbridled’ Muslim/Islamic growth is an oft and old hashed out narrative among supremacist and communal narrative in India, being ill-used to perpetrate hatred of and alienation from the Indian Muslim community.”

CJP further observes, “While explaining, each kind of jihad, the show labels regular and usual occurrences as “jihad” thus leaving no stone unturned in terming almost everything that identifies with Islam or the Muslim community as ‘jihad’ (with the aforementioned negative connotations of a kind of war with intent), thus further inciting hatred towards the community in general.”

The impact of such kind of reporting has also been called out, “In times when the country is walking the tight rope of communal harmony, such divisive and inciteful rhetoric, masked under false information, is nothing but malafide agenda of the broadcaster. At a time when hate-infilled rhetoric appears not even to invite politically powerful rebuke and institutional censure, leave alone punishment, the impact of such a programme can be further imagined.”

The NBSA has responded saying that the complaints and the responses will be considered by the Authority after lockdown has been lifted.

The complaint to NBSA may be read here.

CJP writes to NBSA over Zee News' deeply communal broadcast on "Zameen Jihad"

The channel has submitted its response and the hearing will commence once NBSA resumes functioning

zameen jihad

The channel allegedly borrowed the deeply communal term from social media and ran a complete show propagating various types of Jihad in the country categorising them as soft jihad and hard jihad.

In March, Zee News aired a programme hosted by Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary called “DNA: Jammu मेंज़मीन के ‘इस्लामीकरण’ का DNA टेस्ट” (DNA test of Islamic conversion of land in Jammu) available for public viewing on their YouTube channel at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R83Z_E6EM-0

CJP, as per protocol, first sent a complaint to Zee News and after having not received any response, approached the News Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA). Accordingly, the channel responded to the complaint to NBSA and CJP has also gone ahead and filed a rejoinder to this response.

What did Zee News broadcast?

In the program, the host, Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary, showed his viewers a Jihad diagram propagating various types of Jihad in the country categorising them as soft jihad and hard jihad. He then went to explain, “Hard Jihad includes Population Jihad, Love Jihad, Land Jihad, Education Jihad, Victim Jihad and Direct Jihad, while Soft Jihad includes Economic Jihad, History Jihad, Media Jihad, Movies and Songs Jihad and Secular Jihad.”

Apart from the extremely offensive and shockingly inflammatory content of this programme, what was especially disturbing was how the host, Mr. Chaudhary was encouraging people to tweet using #ZameenJihad a deeply communal hash tag, a brazenly provocative move that can also incite hate.

This show was heavily criticized by many well-known journalists as well as many regular netizens and also prompted a complaint by a citizen named Saket Gokhale to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

CJP’s complaint and Zee’s response 

In the complaint, CJP highlighted how the show violates the Code of Ethics and other guidelines set out by the NBSA such as ensuring neutrality, specific guidelines of impartiality and fairness, racial and religious harmony.

Zee News responded to this complaint saying that our assertions are baseless and frivolous. To this, CJP filed a rejoinder in response reiterating its earlier assertions as well as calling out the news channel on misreporting. CJP has further pointed out how Zee News has validated the use of the term “jihad” in a negative connotation and has clearly manipulated its meaning. Moreover, CJP has called out the channel’s anti-Muslim narrative, “the ‘perpetrated fears’ of ‘unbridled’ Muslim/Islamic growth is an oft and old hashed out narrative among supremacist and communal narrative in India, being ill-used to perpetrate hatred of and alienation from the Indian Muslim community.”

CJP further observes, “While explaining, each kind of jihad, the show labels regular and usual occurrences as “jihad” thus leaving no stone unturned in terming almost everything that identifies with Islam or the Muslim community as ‘jihad’ (with the aforementioned negative connotations of a kind of war with intent), thus further inciting hatred towards the community in general.”

The impact of such kind of reporting has also been called out, “In times when the country is walking the tight rope of communal harmony, such divisive and inciteful rhetoric, masked under false information, is nothing but malafide agenda of the broadcaster. At a time when hate-infilled rhetoric appears not even to invite politically powerful rebuke and institutional censure, leave alone punishment, the impact of such a programme can be further imagined.”

The NBSA has responded saying that the complaints and the responses will be considered by the Authority after lockdown has been lifted.

The complaint to NBSA may be read here.

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Why does the Adityanath gov't continue to ignore Dr Aarti Lalchandani’s anti-Muslim hate speech?

Outraged, CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali demands an investigation, and says the doctor must be dismissed from her post.

01 Jun 2020

Dr Aarti

“She called me and accepted the video was about her and said she made a mistake under stress. I told her I  am completely shocked. You are the head, you have to show the way to people. You have betrayed the Hippocratic oath, you have committed to health of your patients, to treating all patients equally,” former Member of Parliament from Kanpur, and CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali did not mince her words, when Dr Aarti Lalchandani called her today. Ms Ali told SabrangIndia,  that “She is shocked” and that the doctor's words are "unforgivable".

"She has  broken the oath she took while becoming a doctor," said Ms. Ali.

While Dr Lalchandani perhaps called the well known activist and political leader in panic after  the massive outrage her hate video has generated once again, and probably hoped to get advice on how to diffuse the heat by admitting to her hate-speech. However, Ms Ali has demanded a probe into the video by the district administration and said the Dr Lalchandani should be “immediately removed”  from her post and and an FIR be lodged against her.

“Objectionable video with extremely communal raving by principal GSVM medical College kanpur। Have demanded authentication by authorities after her removal। If authenticated she must be dismissed and prosecuted.

 

 

“This is not just anybody। This is the principal of a foremost medical college। She must be prosecuted। Normalising the unacceptable is NOT a good idea

 

 

In the video clip, Dr Lalchandani sounds confident when sharing her ideology, and knows her words reach those who matter in the Uttar Pradesh government. She probably is also confident that the Uttar Pradesh government will not take any action against her. What else can explain the fact that Dr. Aarti Lalchandani, the principal and dean of Kanpur’s Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, continues to hold her powerful position, and continues to practice medicine, even though she has been called out more than once for her anti-Muslim rants during Covid19 pandemic. In April she had alleged that members of the Tabhlighi Jamaat who were admitted for Covid 19 isolation and treatment had been ‘misbehaving with medical staff. She had gone on to news channels and repeated her allegations. These volatile, and dangerous allegations that could have set off major communal backslash.

“Tablighi Jamaat COVID-19 patients spitting on floor, troubling health care staff: Dr Aarti Lalchandani, Principal, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, Kanpur”

 

 

Perhaps it was around the same time, that she was filmed secretly by a local journalist, as she allegedly went on to talk hatefully against Tabhlighi Jamaat members and the Muslim community.

 

Over the weekend, the five-minute video clip has gone viral. Dr Lalchandani is seen and heard calling Tablighi Jamaat members ‘terrorists’. The video that appears to have been secretly shot from a hidden camera placed on the table by a reporter from a local news channel, shows Lalchandani in a chatty mode, without a mask, alleging that the UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath was indulging “in appeasement” of Muslims. “I hope you all are not recording this,” she asks the men sitting in her office, “no, no,” they answer in chorus. No one reacts to her ‘appeasement’ allegation on the Chief Minister, they egg her on to talk more. “Getting them [Tabhlighi’s] admitted [to hospital] is appeasement,” she continues, “they should be in jail, but you are bring them here for treatment, infecting others, feeding them, waiting medicines, wasting manpower.”

“More than anything that [PPE] kits are being wasted. They should be beaten with sticks, and put in jail,” she suggests ‘solitary confinement’ was the best for TJ members, or they could be put in a ‘dungeon in the forest’. She wants the UP government to pay heed,  “Yogiji should order that no state resources will be used for Jamaatis, I would chase them away in two minutes.”  She also referred to an unclear incident over which she claims to have taken on the UP authorities, “I had created a ruckus on 22nd night, then got an ambulance in the morning. I fought with the CMO, they said 60 ambulances were allotted to ‘them’. Alloted to pander to them.” She is referring to TJ members and laments that the administration will only act if the UP CM’s Office orders it, “What can I make the DM understand? The DM will do what the CMO says. They are busy using ambulances to pander to these 22 people. I said forget all these pandering, take these 22 people and leave them in the jungle.”

She sounds upset and frustrated at being ignored by the administration, “They suppressed me and asked me how can I say such things. Even now I cannot say this openly, you can say it, you are the media, you can get someone to say this is appeasement at the cost of state money.  These [Muslims] people are just 30 crore out of 100 crore. They are spreading it. There will be a financial emergency soon because of ‘them’.”

She reminds her audience that Muslims are, “terrorists and we are giving them VIP treatment, giving them food and drink, finishing our food, exhausting our resources, making our doctors sick for them, paying over a lakh for hotel bills, doctors are going in quarantine. We had one corona  positive patient, a very decent NRI, who left when cured.

“On them all our resources are being used. We have used 100 [PPE] kits. We get them at subsidised  rates of 500-700 rupees, but each kit costs the government 2,500. Just think, 100 kits daily for them. If they [Tablighis/Muslims] were not there we would not need any kits.”

She obviously knew she was talking to ‘trusted’ journalists, and hoped the volatile conversation was private and confidential, “Don't leak this, I am thinking of talking to the health minister, Dr Harshvardhan”.

She was confident of her access to the union health minister as both of them are alumni of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, where she is now posted as principal. The Hindu reports that Aarti Lalchandani has admitted that she made the comments, and that the video was 70 days old. She said she was ‘venting’ as the Covid 19 pandemic gained speed in India. It was in those weeks that Tabhligis, and in fact the entire Muslim community was being blamed and tagged as ‘super spreaders’ by the Right Wing.

Prof. Arati Lal Chandani, according to information available online, “did her MBBS in 1978 and MD (Medicine) in 1983 from G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur. She did her super speciality in DM Cardiology from world renowned LPS Institute of Cardiology, Kanpur. She joined as lecturer in her own alma mater and got promoted as Director & Head at KPS Institute of Medicine at G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur.”

In the video, she has asked that UP CM Adityanath “issue an order stating that no state resources should be used on treatment of Jamaat members.”  According to The Hindu report, when contacted Dr Lalchandani first said the video was “morphed”, and that she did not refer to any community or target Muslims. But in the same breath she also admitted that she made the comments as a vent during the initial days of the COVID-19 crisis in Kanpur.

The news report quotes her as saying, “I said it in anger and frustration. I didn’t issue any statement. I said this but in that circumstance...”  She has also threatened to “file an FIR against the reporter who leaked a video of the conversation for “blackmail” and carrying out a “sting”, and alleged the local Hindi reporter had “demanded tenders and outsourcing contacts from her,” the Hindu report quotes her. She also alleged that the reporter who recorded the video where she is heard using communally derogatory words has “disturbed the equilibrium of society and is trying to instigate Muslims. Maybe he is provoking riots.”

The college she studied at, and now is the principal of, is listed as a “a Government run medical college…  in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Founded in 1956, the college is named after Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a freedom fighter and journalist from Kanpur.”

Twitter user Faizul Hasan says he has already filed an e-complain against her. “Complaint against Dr #ArtiLalchandani to the medical council of India. #ArrestAratiLalchandani

 

 

According to a senior lawyer who spoke to SabrangIndia on condition of anonymity, an FIR must be filed ASAP before any action is taken. “It is now rare for the court to take a suo motu cognisance. The general public is either lazy, or too scared to approach the court too.Hence an FIR is important,” he said Dr Lalchandanis words were indeed “hate speech”, which is a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Court. “Now imagine what would have happened if a Muslim doctor had said something similar about any other religion,” said the lawyer. 

Why does the Adityanath gov't continue to ignore Dr Aarti Lalchandani’s anti-Muslim hate speech?

Outraged, CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali demands an investigation, and says the doctor must be dismissed from her post.

Dr Aarti

“She called me and accepted the video was about her and said she made a mistake under stress. I told her I  am completely shocked. You are the head, you have to show the way to people. You have betrayed the Hippocratic oath, you have committed to health of your patients, to treating all patients equally,” former Member of Parliament from Kanpur, and CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali did not mince her words, when Dr Aarti Lalchandani called her today. Ms Ali told SabrangIndia,  that “She is shocked” and that the doctor's words are "unforgivable".

"She has  broken the oath she took while becoming a doctor," said Ms. Ali.

While Dr Lalchandani perhaps called the well known activist and political leader in panic after  the massive outrage her hate video has generated once again, and probably hoped to get advice on how to diffuse the heat by admitting to her hate-speech. However, Ms Ali has demanded a probe into the video by the district administration and said the Dr Lalchandani should be “immediately removed”  from her post and and an FIR be lodged against her.

“Objectionable video with extremely communal raving by principal GSVM medical College kanpur। Have demanded authentication by authorities after her removal। If authenticated she must be dismissed and prosecuted.

 

 

“This is not just anybody। This is the principal of a foremost medical college। She must be prosecuted। Normalising the unacceptable is NOT a good idea

 

 

In the video clip, Dr Lalchandani sounds confident when sharing her ideology, and knows her words reach those who matter in the Uttar Pradesh government. She probably is also confident that the Uttar Pradesh government will not take any action against her. What else can explain the fact that Dr. Aarti Lalchandani, the principal and dean of Kanpur’s Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, continues to hold her powerful position, and continues to practice medicine, even though she has been called out more than once for her anti-Muslim rants during Covid19 pandemic. In April she had alleged that members of the Tabhlighi Jamaat who were admitted for Covid 19 isolation and treatment had been ‘misbehaving with medical staff. She had gone on to news channels and repeated her allegations. These volatile, and dangerous allegations that could have set off major communal backslash.

“Tablighi Jamaat COVID-19 patients spitting on floor, troubling health care staff: Dr Aarti Lalchandani, Principal, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, Kanpur”

 

 

Perhaps it was around the same time, that she was filmed secretly by a local journalist, as she allegedly went on to talk hatefully against Tabhlighi Jamaat members and the Muslim community.

 

Over the weekend, the five-minute video clip has gone viral. Dr Lalchandani is seen and heard calling Tablighi Jamaat members ‘terrorists’. The video that appears to have been secretly shot from a hidden camera placed on the table by a reporter from a local news channel, shows Lalchandani in a chatty mode, without a mask, alleging that the UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath was indulging “in appeasement” of Muslims. “I hope you all are not recording this,” she asks the men sitting in her office, “no, no,” they answer in chorus. No one reacts to her ‘appeasement’ allegation on the Chief Minister, they egg her on to talk more. “Getting them [Tabhlighi’s] admitted [to hospital] is appeasement,” she continues, “they should be in jail, but you are bring them here for treatment, infecting others, feeding them, waiting medicines, wasting manpower.”

“More than anything that [PPE] kits are being wasted. They should be beaten with sticks, and put in jail,” she suggests ‘solitary confinement’ was the best for TJ members, or they could be put in a ‘dungeon in the forest’. She wants the UP government to pay heed,  “Yogiji should order that no state resources will be used for Jamaatis, I would chase them away in two minutes.”  She also referred to an unclear incident over which she claims to have taken on the UP authorities, “I had created a ruckus on 22nd night, then got an ambulance in the morning. I fought with the CMO, they said 60 ambulances were allotted to ‘them’. Alloted to pander to them.” She is referring to TJ members and laments that the administration will only act if the UP CM’s Office orders it, “What can I make the DM understand? The DM will do what the CMO says. They are busy using ambulances to pander to these 22 people. I said forget all these pandering, take these 22 people and leave them in the jungle.”

She sounds upset and frustrated at being ignored by the administration, “They suppressed me and asked me how can I say such things. Even now I cannot say this openly, you can say it, you are the media, you can get someone to say this is appeasement at the cost of state money.  These [Muslims] people are just 30 crore out of 100 crore. They are spreading it. There will be a financial emergency soon because of ‘them’.”

She reminds her audience that Muslims are, “terrorists and we are giving them VIP treatment, giving them food and drink, finishing our food, exhausting our resources, making our doctors sick for them, paying over a lakh for hotel bills, doctors are going in quarantine. We had one corona  positive patient, a very decent NRI, who left when cured.

“On them all our resources are being used. We have used 100 [PPE] kits. We get them at subsidised  rates of 500-700 rupees, but each kit costs the government 2,500. Just think, 100 kits daily for them. If they [Tablighis/Muslims] were not there we would not need any kits.”

She obviously knew she was talking to ‘trusted’ journalists, and hoped the volatile conversation was private and confidential, “Don't leak this, I am thinking of talking to the health minister, Dr Harshvardhan”.

She was confident of her access to the union health minister as both of them are alumni of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, where she is now posted as principal. The Hindu reports that Aarti Lalchandani has admitted that she made the comments, and that the video was 70 days old. She said she was ‘venting’ as the Covid 19 pandemic gained speed in India. It was in those weeks that Tabhligis, and in fact the entire Muslim community was being blamed and tagged as ‘super spreaders’ by the Right Wing.

Prof. Arati Lal Chandani, according to information available online, “did her MBBS in 1978 and MD (Medicine) in 1983 from G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur. She did her super speciality in DM Cardiology from world renowned LPS Institute of Cardiology, Kanpur. She joined as lecturer in her own alma mater and got promoted as Director & Head at KPS Institute of Medicine at G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur.”

In the video, she has asked that UP CM Adityanath “issue an order stating that no state resources should be used on treatment of Jamaat members.”  According to The Hindu report, when contacted Dr Lalchandani first said the video was “morphed”, and that she did not refer to any community or target Muslims. But in the same breath she also admitted that she made the comments as a vent during the initial days of the COVID-19 crisis in Kanpur.

The news report quotes her as saying, “I said it in anger and frustration. I didn’t issue any statement. I said this but in that circumstance...”  She has also threatened to “file an FIR against the reporter who leaked a video of the conversation for “blackmail” and carrying out a “sting”, and alleged the local Hindi reporter had “demanded tenders and outsourcing contacts from her,” the Hindu report quotes her. She also alleged that the reporter who recorded the video where she is heard using communally derogatory words has “disturbed the equilibrium of society and is trying to instigate Muslims. Maybe he is provoking riots.”

The college she studied at, and now is the principal of, is listed as a “a Government run medical college…  in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Founded in 1956, the college is named after Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a freedom fighter and journalist from Kanpur.”

Twitter user Faizul Hasan says he has already filed an e-complain against her. “Complaint against Dr #ArtiLalchandani to the medical council of India. #ArrestAratiLalchandani

 

 

According to a senior lawyer who spoke to SabrangIndia on condition of anonymity, an FIR must be filed ASAP before any action is taken. “It is now rare for the court to take a suo motu cognisance. The general public is either lazy, or too scared to approach the court too.Hence an FIR is important,” he said Dr Lalchandanis words were indeed “hate speech”, which is a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Court. “Now imagine what would have happened if a Muslim doctor had said something similar about any other religion,” said the lawyer. 

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SC: Notice issued to 4 states over Sharjeel Imam plea for clubbing of FIRs

Imam, who has been booked for hate speech, sedition and anti-terror law, has asked the SC to let a single agency investigate the case.

27 May 2020

Supreme CourtImage Courtesy:economictimes

The Supreme Court has sought responses from the state governments of Assam, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh in a plea by Sharjeel Imam for clubbing of 5 FIRs registered against him for offences of hate speech. The states have been given 2 weeks to file their responses.

The bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice to theses states after Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Delhi government contended that all states should be heard by the court before passing an order for clubbing the FIRs filed against Imam for speeches delivered in Delhi and Aligarh.

Besides hate speech, Imam has been charged with sedition and certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. He was arrested on January 28 and has pleaded the apex court to let a single agency investigate into his case after the clubbing of the FIRs.

Imam who is currently lodged in Guwahati jail had delivered a speech in Aligarh Muslim University on January 16 in which he had said that roads leading to Assam should be “cut off” from the rest of the country as part of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Related:

SC: Four more petitions filed against CAA, notices issued/
COVID-19 and the Indian Supreme Court
Student activist Safoora Zargar, denied bail, judicial custody extended till June 25

SC: Notice issued to 4 states over Sharjeel Imam plea for clubbing of FIRs

Imam, who has been booked for hate speech, sedition and anti-terror law, has asked the SC to let a single agency investigate the case.

Supreme CourtImage Courtesy:economictimes

The Supreme Court has sought responses from the state governments of Assam, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh in a plea by Sharjeel Imam for clubbing of 5 FIRs registered against him for offences of hate speech. The states have been given 2 weeks to file their responses.

The bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice to theses states after Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Delhi government contended that all states should be heard by the court before passing an order for clubbing the FIRs filed against Imam for speeches delivered in Delhi and Aligarh.

Besides hate speech, Imam has been charged with sedition and certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. He was arrested on January 28 and has pleaded the apex court to let a single agency investigate into his case after the clubbing of the FIRs.

Imam who is currently lodged in Guwahati jail had delivered a speech in Aligarh Muslim University on January 16 in which he had said that roads leading to Assam should be “cut off” from the rest of the country as part of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Related:

SC: Four more petitions filed against CAA, notices issued/
COVID-19 and the Indian Supreme Court
Student activist Safoora Zargar, denied bail, judicial custody extended till June 25

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Karnataka's 'Hindutva lab' churns out fresh bout of hate messaging, communal clashes

59 new cases of communally charged incidents including 37 instances of hate speech

04 May 2020

Tablighi Jamaat

Hindutva's laboratory in the south, especially in the coastal districts of Karnataka, has been hard at work spreading its divisive agenda. This is evidenced by an exponential rise in the number of hate messages and other communal clashes following the Tablighi Jamaat incident. A compilation titled A Chronicle of Communal Incidents in the Coastal Districts of Karnataka studies this disturbing trend and summarises the various communal incidents till April 29. The compilation may be viewed below:

 

Karnataka's 'Hindutva lab' churns out fresh bout of hate messaging, communal clashes

59 new cases of communally charged incidents including 37 instances of hate speech

Tablighi Jamaat

Hindutva's laboratory in the south, especially in the coastal districts of Karnataka, has been hard at work spreading its divisive agenda. This is evidenced by an exponential rise in the number of hate messages and other communal clashes following the Tablighi Jamaat incident. A compilation titled A Chronicle of Communal Incidents in the Coastal Districts of Karnataka studies this disturbing trend and summarises the various communal incidents till April 29. The compilation may be viewed below:

 

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Muslim traders barred entry to Madhya Pradesh village

Yet another instance of Muslim vendors being targeted by religious bigots as apart of a larger economic boycott plan

04 May 2020

muslimsImage Courtesy:indianexpress.com

Hate against Muslims, fueled by a right-wing media, has grown into mass ostracisation of the community amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. After the media and extreme right wingers held members of the Tablighi Jamaat solely responsible for the spike in coronavirus cases of the country, several instances of innocent members of the Muslim community being targeted and punished have come to light.

And while the spread of communal hatred in Uttar Pradesh is common knowledge, Madhya Pradesh too, has been making news for its anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, a poster prohibiting the entry of Muslim traders had been put up, reported The Indian Express.

The banner reportedly signed on behalf of residents of Pemalpur village in Depalpur tehsil and put up on Saturday, May 2, read, “Muslim vyapariyon ka gaon mein pravesh nishedh hai (Muslim traders are not allowed in the village).”

The banner was reportedly removed from the village on Sunday, May 3. DIG (Indore) Harinarayanchari Mishra told The Indian Express that the poster was removed as soon as the police learnt about it. He said a case against unknown persons was registered since it was immediately not known who put the poster.

Prior to this, in April, the picture of a banner with the message saying, “entry of Muslims for business is not allowed” in Madhya Pradesh’s Borud village went viral on social media. Media reports cited that the message read, “Vyapar ke liye is gaon me Musalmano ka aana pratibandhit hai" (the entry of Muslims for business purpose is not allowed in this village).” The name of the village was written under this message and the banner was put up on the board. The police said it was an old case and the banner had been put up before the lockdown was announced.

Most recently, two videos of two BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh had surfaced, showing the right-wing’s hatred towards Muslims. While one MLA asked people not to buy fares from Muslim vendors, the other MLA threatened a Muslim vendor of dire consequences if he came to sell vegetables in his locality.

This trope of ‘Corona Jihad’ spread by right-wingers and a section of the media has put many lives and livelihoods at risk. Not only are vendors suffering due to the lockdown, but Muslim vendors are suffering more. This intensifying Islamophobia in India, on social media and in real life is yet another chapter in the ongoing persecution of Muslims in India.

Related:

UP BJP MLA asks people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors

Another UP BJP MLA targets Muslim vendors

 

Muslim traders barred entry to Madhya Pradesh village

Yet another instance of Muslim vendors being targeted by religious bigots as apart of a larger economic boycott plan

muslimsImage Courtesy:indianexpress.com

Hate against Muslims, fueled by a right-wing media, has grown into mass ostracisation of the community amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. After the media and extreme right wingers held members of the Tablighi Jamaat solely responsible for the spike in coronavirus cases of the country, several instances of innocent members of the Muslim community being targeted and punished have come to light.

And while the spread of communal hatred in Uttar Pradesh is common knowledge, Madhya Pradesh too, has been making news for its anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, a poster prohibiting the entry of Muslim traders had been put up, reported The Indian Express.

The banner reportedly signed on behalf of residents of Pemalpur village in Depalpur tehsil and put up on Saturday, May 2, read, “Muslim vyapariyon ka gaon mein pravesh nishedh hai (Muslim traders are not allowed in the village).”

The banner was reportedly removed from the village on Sunday, May 3. DIG (Indore) Harinarayanchari Mishra told The Indian Express that the poster was removed as soon as the police learnt about it. He said a case against unknown persons was registered since it was immediately not known who put the poster.

Prior to this, in April, the picture of a banner with the message saying, “entry of Muslims for business is not allowed” in Madhya Pradesh’s Borud village went viral on social media. Media reports cited that the message read, “Vyapar ke liye is gaon me Musalmano ka aana pratibandhit hai" (the entry of Muslims for business purpose is not allowed in this village).” The name of the village was written under this message and the banner was put up on the board. The police said it was an old case and the banner had been put up before the lockdown was announced.

Most recently, two videos of two BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh had surfaced, showing the right-wing’s hatred towards Muslims. While one MLA asked people not to buy fares from Muslim vendors, the other MLA threatened a Muslim vendor of dire consequences if he came to sell vegetables in his locality.

This trope of ‘Corona Jihad’ spread by right-wingers and a section of the media has put many lives and livelihoods at risk. Not only are vendors suffering due to the lockdown, but Muslim vendors are suffering more. This intensifying Islamophobia in India, on social media and in real life is yet another chapter in the ongoing persecution of Muslims in India.

Related:

UP BJP MLA asks people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors

Another UP BJP MLA targets Muslim vendors

 

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Secular Hindus, Muslims on my target: VHP District Security Chief Suraj Tiwari

The repeat hate offender communalized the Palghar lynching incident and has asked Hindu brothers to come to the streets post the lockdown to stage a protest

23 Apr 2020

Hate SpeechImage Courtesy: Facebook

The brutal lynching of three men in Palghar amid the lockdown has frayed many nerves. Even though the police and state government authorities in Maharashtra have begun their investigation and ruled out a communal angle in the matter, there are some like Suraj Tiwari, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal District Security Head from Lucknow, who are hell bent on blaming the minorities for the incident.

The video likely comes after hate monger journalist Arnab Goswami who communalized the whole incident of the killings of the two men by doing a whole show revolving around the theme “Santon ki hatya par sannata kyun? (why the silence over the killings of Hindu priests?)” Arnab took the matter to another level by revolving the show around Hindustan and Hindus and why Hindus and the media and the Opposition was silent about these killings.

Since when did the journalist get a right to if not sound, but insinuate verdicts against other communities and become judge, jury and executioner?

Suraj Tiwari is a repeated hate offender and one look through his Facebook profile will aptly demonstrate his hatred towards minorities, secular Hindus, the police and even some politicians – basically everyone who is stopping him and people like him from taking law into his own hands and unleashing death upon everyone who opposes Hindutva.

Hence the connection between Arnab and Tiwari – Arnab’s rant, not journalism, probably inspired Tiwari to post one more of his own.

Identifying as a ‘kattar Hindu’ (harcore Hindu), most of his recent posts are laced with expletives against minorities and secular people who he thinks are the worst danger to Hindutva.

In light of the Palghar incident, in his most recent video, apart from invoking the Hindutva sentiment in his Hindu brothers to take to the street after the lockdown ends on May 3 and protest against the killings of the two sadhus who were mercilessly killed.

In his video, with a sword in his hand, he seems lost for words, not enraged, but just as if he’s putting up a show to garner views for his own selfish need. And he has accomplished it with over 1.4 million views, 58 thousand likes, 53 thousand comments and 67 thousand shares.

The video titled – “People who kill on seeing saffron, the day we see your (skull) caps and start killing you, even the burqa will fall short of saving you,” along with the hashtag  #जिहादी_आतंक  shows him saying that Hindutva followers are self-sufficient and need no help from the police or politicians to tell them what to saying. He says that Hindus have to save themselves and move over from lighting incense sticks and candles (a reference to PM Modi’s recent task to show solidarity). Moreover, what is alarming is that he has asked people to come to the streets, ignoring social distancing norms and not caring about law and order.

 

In another video, put up on April 19, he said it was necessary to keep an eye on people who wore (skull) caps, targeting minorities. He said he has also made a list of secular Hindus who need to be brought to task and has asked his followers to do the same because there will be an inquiry against them. Going by his video and language, it seems like he’s more eager for an execution than an inquiry.

Targeting Muslims, he says that they will know the power of a ‘kattar Hindu’ the day they come face-to-face with one. He said they would never win over Hindus, adding that their ‘main target’ was secular Hindus. Saying that Muslims were only spreading jihad and creating an illusion of brotherhood, he mentioned that Muslims had brothers only in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and not in India. He has threatened secular Hindus saying that the day he meets one and that person speaks of Hindu-Muslim unity, he would cut him up in half!

He added that the coronavirus wasn’t that big of a challenge to India as jamaatis were, referring to members of the Muslim community who attended the Tablighi Jamaat and were solely demonized by the right-wing affiliate media for the spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

His sentiments against Muslims and secularists are portrayed in photos he has uploaded on his page.

 

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

There are too many photos and too many videos of this sword brandishing, expletive hurling hateful man targeting the minorities and secular Hindus for something they did not do. The danger lies in Tiwari’s popular following on social media and a possible network he might have created on the down-low that. A network where members will be ready with swords and guns at Tiwari’s one call to take to the streets and slit open the throats of everyone they deem to be a threat to Hindutva.

It is appalling that Tiwari’s profile hasn’t been taken down by Facebook for violation of hate speech guidelines. We are sure that the police too know about Tiwari’s antics, but we fail to understand why he hasn’t been booked for the same.

India is a secular country where all religions are striving to live in unity despite the forces of hatred like Tiwari. It is highly likely that Tiwari won’t be brought to task because of the considerable clout he holds, but until that happens, there is also a high chance of a repeat of the communal violence that took place in Delhi in February this year. And if that happens, there will be double the bloodshed, because Tiwari doesn’t just want to target the minorities, but more so wants to teach secularists a lesson.

Related:

Hate Pandemic: Minorities unfairly targeted as ‘corona carriers
Twitter blasts Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary on #ZameenJihad

Secular Hindus, Muslims on my target: VHP District Security Chief Suraj Tiwari

The repeat hate offender communalized the Palghar lynching incident and has asked Hindu brothers to come to the streets post the lockdown to stage a protest

Hate SpeechImage Courtesy: Facebook

The brutal lynching of three men in Palghar amid the lockdown has frayed many nerves. Even though the police and state government authorities in Maharashtra have begun their investigation and ruled out a communal angle in the matter, there are some like Suraj Tiwari, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal District Security Head from Lucknow, who are hell bent on blaming the minorities for the incident.

The video likely comes after hate monger journalist Arnab Goswami who communalized the whole incident of the killings of the two men by doing a whole show revolving around the theme “Santon ki hatya par sannata kyun? (why the silence over the killings of Hindu priests?)” Arnab took the matter to another level by revolving the show around Hindustan and Hindus and why Hindus and the media and the Opposition was silent about these killings.

Since when did the journalist get a right to if not sound, but insinuate verdicts against other communities and become judge, jury and executioner?

Suraj Tiwari is a repeated hate offender and one look through his Facebook profile will aptly demonstrate his hatred towards minorities, secular Hindus, the police and even some politicians – basically everyone who is stopping him and people like him from taking law into his own hands and unleashing death upon everyone who opposes Hindutva.

Hence the connection between Arnab and Tiwari – Arnab’s rant, not journalism, probably inspired Tiwari to post one more of his own.

Identifying as a ‘kattar Hindu’ (harcore Hindu), most of his recent posts are laced with expletives against minorities and secular people who he thinks are the worst danger to Hindutva.

In light of the Palghar incident, in his most recent video, apart from invoking the Hindutva sentiment in his Hindu brothers to take to the street after the lockdown ends on May 3 and protest against the killings of the two sadhus who were mercilessly killed.

In his video, with a sword in his hand, he seems lost for words, not enraged, but just as if he’s putting up a show to garner views for his own selfish need. And he has accomplished it with over 1.4 million views, 58 thousand likes, 53 thousand comments and 67 thousand shares.

The video titled – “People who kill on seeing saffron, the day we see your (skull) caps and start killing you, even the burqa will fall short of saving you,” along with the hashtag  #जिहादी_आतंक  shows him saying that Hindutva followers are self-sufficient and need no help from the police or politicians to tell them what to saying. He says that Hindus have to save themselves and move over from lighting incense sticks and candles (a reference to PM Modi’s recent task to show solidarity). Moreover, what is alarming is that he has asked people to come to the streets, ignoring social distancing norms and not caring about law and order.

 

In another video, put up on April 19, he said it was necessary to keep an eye on people who wore (skull) caps, targeting minorities. He said he has also made a list of secular Hindus who need to be brought to task and has asked his followers to do the same because there will be an inquiry against them. Going by his video and language, it seems like he’s more eager for an execution than an inquiry.

Targeting Muslims, he says that they will know the power of a ‘kattar Hindu’ the day they come face-to-face with one. He said they would never win over Hindus, adding that their ‘main target’ was secular Hindus. Saying that Muslims were only spreading jihad and creating an illusion of brotherhood, he mentioned that Muslims had brothers only in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and not in India. He has threatened secular Hindus saying that the day he meets one and that person speaks of Hindu-Muslim unity, he would cut him up in half!

He added that the coronavirus wasn’t that big of a challenge to India as jamaatis were, referring to members of the Muslim community who attended the Tablighi Jamaat and were solely demonized by the right-wing affiliate media for the spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

His sentiments against Muslims and secularists are portrayed in photos he has uploaded on his page.

 

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

There are too many photos and too many videos of this sword brandishing, expletive hurling hateful man targeting the minorities and secular Hindus for something they did not do. The danger lies in Tiwari’s popular following on social media and a possible network he might have created on the down-low that. A network where members will be ready with swords and guns at Tiwari’s one call to take to the streets and slit open the throats of everyone they deem to be a threat to Hindutva.

It is appalling that Tiwari’s profile hasn’t been taken down by Facebook for violation of hate speech guidelines. We are sure that the police too know about Tiwari’s antics, but we fail to understand why he hasn’t been booked for the same.

India is a secular country where all religions are striving to live in unity despite the forces of hatred like Tiwari. It is highly likely that Tiwari won’t be brought to task because of the considerable clout he holds, but until that happens, there is also a high chance of a repeat of the communal violence that took place in Delhi in February this year. And if that happens, there will be double the bloodshed, because Tiwari doesn’t just want to target the minorities, but more so wants to teach secularists a lesson.

Related:

Hate Pandemic: Minorities unfairly targeted as ‘corona carriers
Twitter blasts Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary on #ZameenJihad

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It took influential Arab anger to make India notice hate speech

Threat of a diplomatic crisis draws a few words of wisdom, that were missing when anti-Muslim hate spread faster than the Coronavirus, in India.

21 Apr 2020

Hate speechImage Courtesy: huffingtonpost.in

“India's Muslims are prosperous; those trying to vitiate atmosphere can't be their friends"said Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi after criticism from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

By making such effusive statements Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi seems to be in fire firefighting mode after hate speech by bigoted NRIs working and living in the Middle East evoked strong reaction from the leadership there. The online army of NRIs were making statements they were encouraged to by the fact that their online counterparts here in India had been getting away with hate speech for a long time now. Most of the hate speech and fake news spreaders claim to be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. Many of them have a massive online following, especially if they are  politicians, journalists, sportspersons, or from the Indian film fraternity.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has never called out their hate agenda and his silence has only encouraged them. It has taken collective outrage from influential names from the Arab world for the PM to make a statement such as this: “COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood.” This was posted by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on April 19 

This is the first such statement from the PM himself, after days of silence even as scores of incidents of violence, and discrimination against Muslims were being reported on a daily basis, from across the country. It has taken the imminent threat of a diplomatic crisis between India and the Middle East region for the PM to speak up.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given a massive boost to the dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric that was echoing across India and spread by prominent politicians, and compliant media houses, months before. Through the winter of 2019, and well into spring of 2020 the hate speech has gotten worse. The political silence, and the timely calls for peace between communities was missing then too. The violence In North-East Delhi, that followed the nationwide Anti CAA-NRC-NPR protests was also met with deafening political silence.

However, in the past two days, the Indian leadership has taken to social media to send words of assurance, not to the Muslim community directly, but more to an international audience. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is a case in point when he said: “India is heaven for Muslims; their social, economic and religious rights are secure” 

No minister has addressed the nation on the need to stop the anti-Muslim hate and socio-economic boycott, even as the Coronavirus crisis rages on. The crisis has not stopped the attack, and arrest of activists, journalists, and common Muslim citizens, in fact it has increased in the last few weeks, in some areas.  

“The situation is approaching, genocidal,” said writer and activist Arundhati Roy in an interview to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) According to Roy, the Indian  authorities were using Covid19 against Muslims in the same way that “typhus was used against the Jews to stigmatise them.”  

The online army loyal to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has proven that by posting hate against Indian Muslims, and linking everyone to the sect Tablighi Jamaat. The Jammat’s disastrous decision to hold its annual event in Delhi in March has resulted in many of its members and their contacts testing Covid19 positive. These have fueled news, including fake news, across the country with some TV news anchors fanning the communal flames on prime time.

No new reports of mass testing, and the results of such tests have come from the other religious, cultural gatherings, weddings and birthdays that had happened during the same time, and some even after the national lockdown was announced on March 25 onwards. Those were not Muslim gatherings perhaps. Muslims are the only ones now under Coronavirus scrutiny it appears. Euphemisms like ‘single source spreaders’ are being used to say that it was Muslim’s who are spreading Coronavirus across India.

“The RSS to which Modi belongs, has long said India should be a Hindu nation… Its ideologies have likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany,” Roy told DW, adding "Modi tries to play the statesman but he is quiet when it happens. The massacre happened when Trump was here. Trump said nothing.”

She urged the world not to take this stigmatisation of Muslims lightly, “You can hear it everywhere… it comes with the threat of extreme violence.. they have built detention centres for that citizenship law… now this will dovetail… to create something which the world should keep its eye on. I cannot exaggerate the threat more…,” she told Deutsche Welle.  Arundhati Roy’s interview went viral in the UAE.  

While the rest of the world’ is mostly mute to the communal crisis unfolding in India in the shadow of the Covid19 emergency, the United Arab Emirates has been taking action against Indian hate spreaders based there.

Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, has warned expats working in the region that any discrimination will not be tolerated and that: “India and UAE share the value of non-discrimination on any grounds. Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.” 

Online hate speech by Indian expatriates has been called out by prominent Emiratis including a member of the Royal family. Sharjah Princess Hend Faisal Al Qassemi, had  tweeted angry responses to such posts. “The ruling family is a friend of Indians, but as a royal, your rudeness is not welcome.  You make your bread and butter from this land, which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.” She posted a series of tweets and warned those indulging in communal hate speech that they were violating the UAE laws and will be penalised accordingly.
 

Princess

She also spoke to NDTV on the issue and later posted a link to the interview saying the hate should stop: "knew India, the country of Gandhi, a country which suffered enough. The whole world is on its nerves with Covid19, but the hate should stop. Namaste”

Ambassador Pavan Kapoor’s social media statement is an visible attempt to firefight a crisis that started when Indians working in the Arab countries posted bigoted opinions linking Indian Muslims with Coronavirus, on social media. A few of them were terminated from service by their employers who put in action, their zero tolerance policies on such matters. 

Thousands of Indian’s working in the Emirates are anyway facing job losses across industries, as Covid19 has forced companies to downsize, and put operations on hold. According to The Hindu’s report it has created a “diplomatic strain for New Delhi, even as it negotiates with UAE officials who have been pushing for India to repatriate thousands of citizens who have lost jobs with companies in the Emirates due to COVID-19.” An estimated 3.3 million Indians live and work in the UAE, states the report.

Islamic human rights bodies are also taking notice and calling out Indian government’s silence on the issue. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has asked India to “halt violence against Muslims in the country during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic” say news reports. “In a statement, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), an expert human rights body with the OIC, condemned a "vicious" campaign in India against Muslims being accused of spreading the coronavirus” reported the Trukish news portal Anadolu Agency.

The "OIC-IPHRC condemns the unrelenting vicious #Islamophobic campaign in #India maligning Muslims for spread of #COVID-19 as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination & violence with impunity," it said on Twitter. "#OIC-IPHRC urges the #Indian Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of #Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted #Muslim minority as per its obligations under int'l [international] HR law."

The OIC rights body has asked the Indian authorities to “protect the country's nearly 200 million Muslims from Islamophobic campaigns.” The IPHRC issued a statement and said that the “Anti-Muslim violence and condemnation has further mounted due to anti-Muslim media coverage rife in the country.” Arundhati Roy had called such media, especially TV news Anchors as lynch mobs.

Related:

Irresponsible reportage, false hope spark migrant protest in Bandra
The cat that won't be belled

 

It took influential Arab anger to make India notice hate speech

Threat of a diplomatic crisis draws a few words of wisdom, that were missing when anti-Muslim hate spread faster than the Coronavirus, in India.

Hate speechImage Courtesy: huffingtonpost.in

“India's Muslims are prosperous; those trying to vitiate atmosphere can't be their friends"said Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi after criticism from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

By making such effusive statements Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi seems to be in fire firefighting mode after hate speech by bigoted NRIs working and living in the Middle East evoked strong reaction from the leadership there. The online army of NRIs were making statements they were encouraged to by the fact that their online counterparts here in India had been getting away with hate speech for a long time now. Most of the hate speech and fake news spreaders claim to be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. Many of them have a massive online following, especially if they are  politicians, journalists, sportspersons, or from the Indian film fraternity.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has never called out their hate agenda and his silence has only encouraged them. It has taken collective outrage from influential names from the Arab world for the PM to make a statement such as this: “COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood.” This was posted by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on April 19 

This is the first such statement from the PM himself, after days of silence even as scores of incidents of violence, and discrimination against Muslims were being reported on a daily basis, from across the country. It has taken the imminent threat of a diplomatic crisis between India and the Middle East region for the PM to speak up.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given a massive boost to the dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric that was echoing across India and spread by prominent politicians, and compliant media houses, months before. Through the winter of 2019, and well into spring of 2020 the hate speech has gotten worse. The political silence, and the timely calls for peace between communities was missing then too. The violence In North-East Delhi, that followed the nationwide Anti CAA-NRC-NPR protests was also met with deafening political silence.

However, in the past two days, the Indian leadership has taken to social media to send words of assurance, not to the Muslim community directly, but more to an international audience. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is a case in point when he said: “India is heaven for Muslims; their social, economic and religious rights are secure” 

No minister has addressed the nation on the need to stop the anti-Muslim hate and socio-economic boycott, even as the Coronavirus crisis rages on. The crisis has not stopped the attack, and arrest of activists, journalists, and common Muslim citizens, in fact it has increased in the last few weeks, in some areas.  

“The situation is approaching, genocidal,” said writer and activist Arundhati Roy in an interview to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) According to Roy, the Indian  authorities were using Covid19 against Muslims in the same way that “typhus was used against the Jews to stigmatise them.”  

The online army loyal to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has proven that by posting hate against Indian Muslims, and linking everyone to the sect Tablighi Jamaat. The Jammat’s disastrous decision to hold its annual event in Delhi in March has resulted in many of its members and their contacts testing Covid19 positive. These have fueled news, including fake news, across the country with some TV news anchors fanning the communal flames on prime time.

No new reports of mass testing, and the results of such tests have come from the other religious, cultural gatherings, weddings and birthdays that had happened during the same time, and some even after the national lockdown was announced on March 25 onwards. Those were not Muslim gatherings perhaps. Muslims are the only ones now under Coronavirus scrutiny it appears. Euphemisms like ‘single source spreaders’ are being used to say that it was Muslim’s who are spreading Coronavirus across India.

“The RSS to which Modi belongs, has long said India should be a Hindu nation… Its ideologies have likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany,” Roy told DW, adding "Modi tries to play the statesman but he is quiet when it happens. The massacre happened when Trump was here. Trump said nothing.”

She urged the world not to take this stigmatisation of Muslims lightly, “You can hear it everywhere… it comes with the threat of extreme violence.. they have built detention centres for that citizenship law… now this will dovetail… to create something which the world should keep its eye on. I cannot exaggerate the threat more…,” she told Deutsche Welle.  Arundhati Roy’s interview went viral in the UAE.  

While the rest of the world’ is mostly mute to the communal crisis unfolding in India in the shadow of the Covid19 emergency, the United Arab Emirates has been taking action against Indian hate spreaders based there.

Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, has warned expats working in the region that any discrimination will not be tolerated and that: “India and UAE share the value of non-discrimination on any grounds. Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.” 

Online hate speech by Indian expatriates has been called out by prominent Emiratis including a member of the Royal family. Sharjah Princess Hend Faisal Al Qassemi, had  tweeted angry responses to such posts. “The ruling family is a friend of Indians, but as a royal, your rudeness is not welcome.  You make your bread and butter from this land, which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.” She posted a series of tweets and warned those indulging in communal hate speech that they were violating the UAE laws and will be penalised accordingly.
 

Princess

She also spoke to NDTV on the issue and later posted a link to the interview saying the hate should stop: "knew India, the country of Gandhi, a country which suffered enough. The whole world is on its nerves with Covid19, but the hate should stop. Namaste”

Ambassador Pavan Kapoor’s social media statement is an visible attempt to firefight a crisis that started when Indians working in the Arab countries posted bigoted opinions linking Indian Muslims with Coronavirus, on social media. A few of them were terminated from service by their employers who put in action, their zero tolerance policies on such matters. 

Thousands of Indian’s working in the Emirates are anyway facing job losses across industries, as Covid19 has forced companies to downsize, and put operations on hold. According to The Hindu’s report it has created a “diplomatic strain for New Delhi, even as it negotiates with UAE officials who have been pushing for India to repatriate thousands of citizens who have lost jobs with companies in the Emirates due to COVID-19.” An estimated 3.3 million Indians live and work in the UAE, states the report.

Islamic human rights bodies are also taking notice and calling out Indian government’s silence on the issue. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has asked India to “halt violence against Muslims in the country during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic” say news reports. “In a statement, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), an expert human rights body with the OIC, condemned a "vicious" campaign in India against Muslims being accused of spreading the coronavirus” reported the Trukish news portal Anadolu Agency.

The "OIC-IPHRC condemns the unrelenting vicious #Islamophobic campaign in #India maligning Muslims for spread of #COVID-19 as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination & violence with impunity," it said on Twitter. "#OIC-IPHRC urges the #Indian Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of #Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted #Muslim minority as per its obligations under int'l [international] HR law."

The OIC rights body has asked the Indian authorities to “protect the country's nearly 200 million Muslims from Islamophobic campaigns.” The IPHRC issued a statement and said that the “Anti-Muslim violence and condemnation has further mounted due to anti-Muslim media coverage rife in the country.” Arundhati Roy had called such media, especially TV news Anchors as lynch mobs.

Related:

Irresponsible reportage, false hope spark migrant protest in Bandra
The cat that won't be belled

 

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Letter from joint memorandum of organizations condemning hate and communalization amid Covid-19

The representatives of the organizations have recorded testimonies of various Muslims who have been allegedly racially attacked in Jaipur and Jodhpur

10 Apr 2020

MediaImage Courtesy: newsclick.in

Communal hate is seeing a spike amid the coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of organizations like PUCL Rajasthan, AUMA Foundation, Center for Equity Studies (Rajasthan), Nirman and General Labour Union, Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and Helping Hands (Jaipur) among others, their representatives have penned a letter to various the police and other authorities in Rajasthan, Jaipur and Jodhpur bringing to their awareness how Muslims have been made the scapegoat of Coronavirus.

Their letter read, “The electronic and print media communalised the case of the Tabligh Jamaat, including the Government which put out data on the spread of the illness, with Tabligh Jamaat related cases as a separate column. We can understand its significance as a part of an internal monitoring process for this public health crisis. But it helped communalise the problem. However all this has caused a section of the already paranoid ordinary middle class and lower middle class to see the Muslim community as a transmitter of the epidemic.”

In Jaipur, the representatives of the organizations said, due to the communalization, Muslim fruit and vegetable vendors are allegedly being prevented from entering the public space of housing colonies.

In Jodhpur too, they said, “The Hindu neighbourhood fearing that the Muslim Mazdoors living next door maybe transmitters of the illness came and broke the doors of their house in the middle of the night and verbally abused the individuals.” Though after this, the police drove away the aggressive neighbours, the next day, 17 Muslim migrant mazdoors (workers) shifted to other colonies for the fear of being attacked again.”

Testimonies of discrimination

·         They have presented a testimony of two fruit sellers – Safdar and Faiz who were threatened, beaten up and verbally abused by the residents and the police.

·         Md. Rafi, Safdar and Faiz’s brother who is also a street vendor recounted his plight to the representatives. While a woman was out to buy fruits from his cart, another woman from a nearby grocery store called out to her and showed her a video on her cell phone. Rafi and the representatives think it could likely be the video of a Muslim man licking fruits. During this, he overheard the woman saying that they won’t buy from him anymore. They declined.  A customer who had bought fruits from him right before the lady came looking for him with                      his son on a bike and demanded to know his name and see his Adhaar card. Rafi showed them an image of his Adhaar he had on his mobile and asked why they wanted it. The customer then calmed down and told him the lady mentioned above had told him he will get corona from Rafi’s fruits.  Rafi says policemen have also been talking to vendors, especially Muslims very badly and saying they are spreading corona. The Jamaat issue from Delhi is being brought up again and again. Two other sellers he knew, a Hindu and a Muslim, were asked to carry their ID cards at all time by the police when they were doing their rounds.

·         Faizal, a fruit seller in Jaipur for the past 7 – 8 years too had a similar story. A person who ran a medical shop in the area where he sells his fare told him that Muslims spread corona. When Faizal responded saying that it was a disease which could happen to anyone, he was threatened by the man in the medical shop who said that Faizal should be grateful that he wasn’t calling the police and asked him not to be seen in the area lest he wants his limbs broken. Some women too asked him to show his ID and said, “Aap 35 sector wale jamaati hain aur aap corona faila rahe hain (you are related to the jamaat and you are spreading corona).”

In Jodhpur too, a similar situation prevailed. The statement read, “The Nagori gate police took their photo identities for its records. When they moved to the new area, somebody tipped the police of newcomers in the area. This got the local Thana to interrogate them once again and collect their documents. Later a team of doctors was called in who got them screened through a thermal scanners and found all of them without a health risk. The Mazdoors who are skilled embroidery workers, are now in a Muslim Ghetto and requested that they donot want any further action as they have had enough of people and police interrogation.”

In Bharatpur, a pregnant woman who was a Muslim was allegedly denied health care facilities which led to the death of the baby.

The representatives fear that this communalization can become the precursor to lynching. The statement read, “As on the social media amongst the people of the majoritarian community, one of the main discourse is the Muslim as transmitter, through licking plates, spitting n fruit and other means. We reiterate that before this becomes a reason for lynching and harming and injuring the Muslim community people and before we see the people of the Muslim community retaliate, this rising expression of hate, should be stopped at the earliest.”

The organizations also condemned the police brutality against people stepping out to buy food and medicines. They said, “With the supplies of cooked food, dry rations being so erratic, that people are bound to step out. Images of police beating up women, old men and then two days ago in Jaipur the Bhatta Basti Thana, also raised their batons to beat up activists Nisha Sidhu of NFIW and Sumitra Chopra, Jaipur District secretary, CPIM, when they went to rescue one woman who had been beaten up by the police. In Chandpole area, one person who took food regularly from us shared how he broke his bones, as he had stepped out to fetch food.”

The organizations have demanded that –

·         Firstly the police machinery requires to be educated and they have to be reassured not to fear the poor Muslim. As they also end up targeting the poor Muslim.

·         Secondly, the ordinary citizen of the state also has to be reassured and explained that no one community is a transmitter, despite the Tabligh Jamaat experience.

·         Third, a section of the Muslim community is feeling humiliated and agitated, and this could snowball into retaliatory violence. We need to ensure them that the law violators will be brought to book so that they do not take law into their own hands.

The complete letter by the organizations may be read below.

Related:

Anand Parvat Daily Hawkers’ Association condemns racial profiling of hawkers amid Covid-19
Muslims in Assam fear they may have to bear the brunt of Tablighi Jamaat’s mistake

 

Letter from joint memorandum of organizations condemning hate and communalization amid Covid-19

The representatives of the organizations have recorded testimonies of various Muslims who have been allegedly racially attacked in Jaipur and Jodhpur

MediaImage Courtesy: newsclick.in

Communal hate is seeing a spike amid the coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of organizations like PUCL Rajasthan, AUMA Foundation, Center for Equity Studies (Rajasthan), Nirman and General Labour Union, Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and Helping Hands (Jaipur) among others, their representatives have penned a letter to various the police and other authorities in Rajasthan, Jaipur and Jodhpur bringing to their awareness how Muslims have been made the scapegoat of Coronavirus.

Their letter read, “The electronic and print media communalised the case of the Tabligh Jamaat, including the Government which put out data on the spread of the illness, with Tabligh Jamaat related cases as a separate column. We can understand its significance as a part of an internal monitoring process for this public health crisis. But it helped communalise the problem. However all this has caused a section of the already paranoid ordinary middle class and lower middle class to see the Muslim community as a transmitter of the epidemic.”

In Jaipur, the representatives of the organizations said, due to the communalization, Muslim fruit and vegetable vendors are allegedly being prevented from entering the public space of housing colonies.

In Jodhpur too, they said, “The Hindu neighbourhood fearing that the Muslim Mazdoors living next door maybe transmitters of the illness came and broke the doors of their house in the middle of the night and verbally abused the individuals.” Though after this, the police drove away the aggressive neighbours, the next day, 17 Muslim migrant mazdoors (workers) shifted to other colonies for the fear of being attacked again.”

Testimonies of discrimination

·         They have presented a testimony of two fruit sellers – Safdar and Faiz who were threatened, beaten up and verbally abused by the residents and the police.

·         Md. Rafi, Safdar and Faiz’s brother who is also a street vendor recounted his plight to the representatives. While a woman was out to buy fruits from his cart, another woman from a nearby grocery store called out to her and showed her a video on her cell phone. Rafi and the representatives think it could likely be the video of a Muslim man licking fruits. During this, he overheard the woman saying that they won’t buy from him anymore. They declined.  A customer who had bought fruits from him right before the lady came looking for him with                      his son on a bike and demanded to know his name and see his Adhaar card. Rafi showed them an image of his Adhaar he had on his mobile and asked why they wanted it. The customer then calmed down and told him the lady mentioned above had told him he will get corona from Rafi’s fruits.  Rafi says policemen have also been talking to vendors, especially Muslims very badly and saying they are spreading corona. The Jamaat issue from Delhi is being brought up again and again. Two other sellers he knew, a Hindu and a Muslim, were asked to carry their ID cards at all time by the police when they were doing their rounds.

·         Faizal, a fruit seller in Jaipur for the past 7 – 8 years too had a similar story. A person who ran a medical shop in the area where he sells his fare told him that Muslims spread corona. When Faizal responded saying that it was a disease which could happen to anyone, he was threatened by the man in the medical shop who said that Faizal should be grateful that he wasn’t calling the police and asked him not to be seen in the area lest he wants his limbs broken. Some women too asked him to show his ID and said, “Aap 35 sector wale jamaati hain aur aap corona faila rahe hain (you are related to the jamaat and you are spreading corona).”

In Jodhpur too, a similar situation prevailed. The statement read, “The Nagori gate police took their photo identities for its records. When they moved to the new area, somebody tipped the police of newcomers in the area. This got the local Thana to interrogate them once again and collect their documents. Later a team of doctors was called in who got them screened through a thermal scanners and found all of them without a health risk. The Mazdoors who are skilled embroidery workers, are now in a Muslim Ghetto and requested that they donot want any further action as they have had enough of people and police interrogation.”

In Bharatpur, a pregnant woman who was a Muslim was allegedly denied health care facilities which led to the death of the baby.

The representatives fear that this communalization can become the precursor to lynching. The statement read, “As on the social media amongst the people of the majoritarian community, one of the main discourse is the Muslim as transmitter, through licking plates, spitting n fruit and other means. We reiterate that before this becomes a reason for lynching and harming and injuring the Muslim community people and before we see the people of the Muslim community retaliate, this rising expression of hate, should be stopped at the earliest.”

The organizations also condemned the police brutality against people stepping out to buy food and medicines. They said, “With the supplies of cooked food, dry rations being so erratic, that people are bound to step out. Images of police beating up women, old men and then two days ago in Jaipur the Bhatta Basti Thana, also raised their batons to beat up activists Nisha Sidhu of NFIW and Sumitra Chopra, Jaipur District secretary, CPIM, when they went to rescue one woman who had been beaten up by the police. In Chandpole area, one person who took food regularly from us shared how he broke his bones, as he had stepped out to fetch food.”

The organizations have demanded that –

·         Firstly the police machinery requires to be educated and they have to be reassured not to fear the poor Muslim. As they also end up targeting the poor Muslim.

·         Secondly, the ordinary citizen of the state also has to be reassured and explained that no one community is a transmitter, despite the Tabligh Jamaat experience.

·         Third, a section of the Muslim community is feeling humiliated and agitated, and this could snowball into retaliatory violence. We need to ensure them that the law violators will be brought to book so that they do not take law into their own hands.

The complete letter by the organizations may be read below.

Related:

Anand Parvat Daily Hawkers’ Association condemns racial profiling of hawkers amid Covid-19
Muslims in Assam fear they may have to bear the brunt of Tablighi Jamaat’s mistake

 

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Covid-19: No escape for cyber crooks as police tightens net to control fake news

Police from various states are acting quickly to curb fake news, hate speech and misinformation on social media

09 Apr 2020

Covid 19Image Courtesy: bbc.com

Fake news is fast emerging as the biggest menace amidst the coronavirus during the 21-day lockdown in the country. The Maharashtra Cyber police unit has said that since the lockdown was issued on March 25, it has registered a total of 132 cases regarding fake news, rumours and hate speech over social media in the state. Out of the total 132 cases, 49 were related to hate speech over social media. 35 of the accused were arrested and another 28 had been identified in the matter.

16 cases were recorded from Beed, 13 from Kolhapur, 11 from Pune rural, 9 from Mumbai, 8 from Jalna, 7 from Satara, 7 from Jalgaon, 6 from rural Nashik, 4 from Nagpur city, 5 from Nashik city, 4 from Thane, 4 from Nanded, 3 from Gondia, Bhandara and Ratnagiri, 2 from Parbhani, Amravati, Nandurbar and 1 each from Latur, Osmanabad and Hingoli.

In a tweet posted yesterday, April 8, it said that between the 24 hours of April 7 and April 8, 20 new First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered in the state.

It also said that out of the 20 cases registered, 14 were communal in nature and six were related to rumours about the Covid-19 pandemic. The cyber unit said that that it had seen an upward swing in hate speech and communal crimes in social media in the past five days.

Maharashtra State Superintendent of Police (Cyber), Balsing Rajput too verified the numbers. The cases that have been registered against the perpetrators in the state were for spreading fake news through WhatsApp (79 cases), Facebook (24), Twitter (3), TikTok (30), youTube and audio clips (23) and two non-cognizable offences, cited various media reports.

Apart from Maharashtra, the Meghalaya Police which has now started a fake news verification portal registered four cases against individuals for spreading fake news on Covid-19. Speaking to NE Now, IGP Meghalaya GK Iangrai said, “Despite several appeals to the general public to refrain from propagating or circulating false news/rumours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, through social media or any other medium, some individuals have disregarded the appeal and uploaded/posted contents which were found to be fake news.”

“In this connection, three cases have been registered in Cyber Crime Police Station and 1 case has been registered in Williamnagar police station against rumour mongers, under the relevant previsions of IPC, Information Technology Act and National Disaster Management Act,” he added.

“Out of the 4 cases, 3 cases have been registered after the applications, which have been received through the Fake News Verification Portal, have been verified to be fake news,” he said in a statement.

In Assam, as on April 8, 2020, 59 cases were registered 33 people were arrested, more than 130 people were counseled and more than 140 posts had been pulled down.

Related:

Maharashtra Cyber Police issues advisory for WhatsApp users and admins to curb fake news
All who spread fake news and incite communal hate will face strict action: Jharkhand DGP

 

Covid-19: No escape for cyber crooks as police tightens net to control fake news

Police from various states are acting quickly to curb fake news, hate speech and misinformation on social media

Covid 19Image Courtesy: bbc.com

Fake news is fast emerging as the biggest menace amidst the coronavirus during the 21-day lockdown in the country. The Maharashtra Cyber police unit has said that since the lockdown was issued on March 25, it has registered a total of 132 cases regarding fake news, rumours and hate speech over social media in the state. Out of the total 132 cases, 49 were related to hate speech over social media. 35 of the accused were arrested and another 28 had been identified in the matter.

16 cases were recorded from Beed, 13 from Kolhapur, 11 from Pune rural, 9 from Mumbai, 8 from Jalna, 7 from Satara, 7 from Jalgaon, 6 from rural Nashik, 4 from Nagpur city, 5 from Nashik city, 4 from Thane, 4 from Nanded, 3 from Gondia, Bhandara and Ratnagiri, 2 from Parbhani, Amravati, Nandurbar and 1 each from Latur, Osmanabad and Hingoli.

In a tweet posted yesterday, April 8, it said that between the 24 hours of April 7 and April 8, 20 new First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered in the state.

It also said that out of the 20 cases registered, 14 were communal in nature and six were related to rumours about the Covid-19 pandemic. The cyber unit said that that it had seen an upward swing in hate speech and communal crimes in social media in the past five days.

Maharashtra State Superintendent of Police (Cyber), Balsing Rajput too verified the numbers. The cases that have been registered against the perpetrators in the state were for spreading fake news through WhatsApp (79 cases), Facebook (24), Twitter (3), TikTok (30), youTube and audio clips (23) and two non-cognizable offences, cited various media reports.

Apart from Maharashtra, the Meghalaya Police which has now started a fake news verification portal registered four cases against individuals for spreading fake news on Covid-19. Speaking to NE Now, IGP Meghalaya GK Iangrai said, “Despite several appeals to the general public to refrain from propagating or circulating false news/rumours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, through social media or any other medium, some individuals have disregarded the appeal and uploaded/posted contents which were found to be fake news.”

“In this connection, three cases have been registered in Cyber Crime Police Station and 1 case has been registered in Williamnagar police station against rumour mongers, under the relevant previsions of IPC, Information Technology Act and National Disaster Management Act,” he added.

“Out of the 4 cases, 3 cases have been registered after the applications, which have been received through the Fake News Verification Portal, have been verified to be fake news,” he said in a statement.

In Assam, as on April 8, 2020, 59 cases were registered 33 people were arrested, more than 130 people were counseled and more than 140 posts had been pulled down.

Related:

Maharashtra Cyber Police issues advisory for WhatsApp users and admins to curb fake news
All who spread fake news and incite communal hate will face strict action: Jharkhand DGP

 

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