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Dainik Bhaskar, OpIndia Falsely Report Scuffle as a Communal Incident Perpetrated by Muslims

Police officials told NewsCentral24x7 that the victims were not asked to chant religious slogans nor were they stabbed, unlike what the media outlets reported.

On July 21, prominent Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar and right-wing leaning website OpIndia misrepresented an incident of two youths being attacked in Ranchi, Jharkhand up as one of a communal hate crime.

Per the report published in Dainik Bhaskar, two youths — Shekhar Ram and Basant Ram — belonging to a Scheduled Caste were assaulted by four men in Argoda area. The reports allege that the attackers, who were Muslim, showed the victims a video of Tabrez Ansari being lynched. Then, the attackers asked the victims to “chant religious slogans” and when they refused, accused them of theft and stabbed them.

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However, when NewsCentral24x7 contacted officials at the Argoda police station, they denied the reports of the matter being communal in nature. “Two people (the victims) had gone to the Harmu phool mandi to look for boars. That’s when a few men inquired about their identity and then made casteist remarks. This was followed by a scuffle between the two groups in which two people sustained minor injuries. There was no use of a knife. A case has been registered under the SC/ST Act,” the police official said.

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The reports by OpIndia and Dainik Bhaskar attempted to diminish the atrocities being committed against Muslims by rampaging mobs in the country. Both publications did this by pitting their false narrative against the brutal lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, who was lynched by a mob in Jharkhand on June 17. Ansari’s killing had sparked national outrage against the growing incidents of mob violence which are often perpetrated against members of the minority communities.

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