A young woman was found dead in a hotel on Hunsur Road in Mysuru. Following her death, a claim began circulating on social media alleging that the death was a case of murder of a Hindu woman committed by a Muslim man as part of a 'Love Jihad' conspiracy.
On September 2, Apoorva Shetty, an engineering student at Vidyavardhak Engineering College, Mysuru, was found dead at a hotel on the Mysore-Hunasur road. She was staying at the hotel with a man, reportedly her boyfriend, who allegedly killed her and then left the hotel. Netizens and media outlets circulated a claim that a person named Ashik, belonging from the Muslim community murdered a girl from the Hindu community as a part of a 'Love Jihad' conspiracy.
In a report published on Star of Mysore on September 2, 2022, the same details regarding the death of Apoorva Shetty were stated. The Star of Mysore report identifies the deceased as Apoorva Shetty, a 21-year-old woman pursuing her final year of engineering course. The report mentions that the accused while booking the hotel room had given his name as 26-year-old Ashik from Hinkal village.
The screenshot from the article has been circulated across social media with allegations of a 'Love Jihad' conspiracy. Sagar Kumar, a journalist from Sudarshan News, amplified this image with the claim, "My Abdul is not like that." Kumar's tweet is a jab at the Muslim community, alleging that this incident is a part of the 'Love Jihad' conspiracy, where Muslim men are trained to entrap Hindu women and convert them to Islam.
Asianet and right-wing media outlet Hindu Post alleged that the accused was Ashik from the Muslim community. Several media outlets, Zee News Kannada, News18 Kannada, and TV9 Kannada, reported on the incident and referred to the accused as Ashik. However, they did not identify the religion of the accused.
The image is viral across Twitter with the same claim.
The Logical Indian fact-check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. No communal angle was involved in this case.
We conducted a keyword search with the relevant keywords of the incident. Through the news reports, we noted that the murder occurred in the Devaraja police station jurisdiction in Mysuru. Taking a cue from this, we came across the First Information Report of the case registered on September 1, 2022.
The FIR identifies the accused as Ashish and not Ashik, as mentioned in the viral claim.
The FIR provided more details about the matter, stating that the accused had booked the hotel on August 29 under the name Ashish. The victim last interacted with the victim's family on August 30.
The FIR notes that Ashish booked a hotel room without the knowledge of anyone from the victim's family with the intention of killing the victim. The victim's body was discovered between August 31 and September 1. The FIR does not mention a communal angle to the case.
Translated text of an FIR lodged by Mysuru Police
For more details, we contacted Mysuru DCP(Law and Order), Anprakash Gowda. While speaking to The Logical Indian, the Mysuru DCP(Law and Order), Anprakash Gowda said, " He is not 'Ashik', his name is Ashish, he doesn't belong to another religion and there is no communal angle involved in it and the motive for the murder is different. There is no need for confusion regarding this since I was the only person dealing with the case right from the beginning. I am the first officer to go to the dead body, I am the one who collected all evidences from the scene of crime and I am the one who questioned the accused. There is no communal angle involved in it and his name is Ashish and he is proper Hindu".
The Logical Indian also contacted the deceased's father, Ravish Kumar HT, who stated that the accused belonged to the Hindu community. He said that the boy belonged to the Vokkaliga community.
In our Fact Check, we found that the accused's name is noted as Ashish in the FIR and not Ashik as claimed by media outlets and netizens. We found that the accused belongs to the Hindu community, specifically to the Vokkaliga community.
The FIR did not mention a communal angle to the case, and the deceased's father mentioned that the accused belonged to the Hindu community. Thus, we can ascertain that a misleading communal claim has been circulated following the murder of a young woman.
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