Like any other fake story that is aimed at creating a communal divide, a news that is being widely shared by social media users claimed that a Hindu woman, who tied rakhi to a Muslim man, was subsequently raped by him. An FIR has been filed against three for spreading this fake information.
On 28 August @komal44337466) tweeted images stating, “यूपी के गोंडा में हिंदु महिला नीरू गौतम ने कांग्रेस नेता गफूर खान को अपना भाई माना था और राखी तक पहनाई 27aug Monday को गफूर खान ने निरू को कुछ काम के सिलसिले में घर बुलाया और निरू से बलात्कार करके मार पिटाई करके घर से भाग गया” (In Gonda (UP), a Hindu woman Niru Gautam considered Congress leader Ghafoor Khan as her brother and had also tied a rakhi. On 27th August Monday, Ghafoor called Niru home for some work and then he ran away after beating and raping Niru -translated).
The tweets are now deleted and the person has been booked by Uttar Pradesh police for “sharing fake and inflammatory post aimed at inciting communal hatred”. UP Police registered an FIR against three on August 29 for allegedly posting the images. No arrest was made till August 31.
What are the origins?
A Google reverse on the first image showed that the picture was first posted online on August 7, 2018, as a message for communal harmony. The caption along with the image read “some relations are beyond religion and Love and Hate have no religion (translated).”
If a google reverse is done on the second image, it is an Associated Press image taken by photographer Rajesh Kumar. The caption reads, “An injured passenger recovers at a hospital at Kanpur, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. Scores of passengers died and scores more were injured after 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track.”
So, it can be said that the two images have no correlation with one another and has been shared and was made viral on social media with the intent to spread hatred.
Gonda police have issued a clarification refuting the claims of a woman getting raped. In a tweet, they said “The photo included in the mentioned viral post dates back to November 21, 2016, and represents an incident where a woman was injured in a train accident in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Hence this incident is completely unfounded and false (translated).”
उपरोक्त वायरल पोस्ट में शामिल की गई फोटो दिनांक 21 नवंबर 2016 कानपुर उत्तर प्रदेश में हुई ट्रेन दुर्घटना में घायल महिला की है घटना पूरी तरह से निराधार व असत्य है l @priankajha pic.twitter.com/FPifhd1Gfc
— Gonda Police (@gondapolice) August 29, 2018
Even after UP police busted this fake news, it is still being shared on social media.
The Logical Indian take
Sharing images like such to spread communal hatred is a tried and tested method used by many to spread hate and incite violence. In our post-truth world, we should always verify a news ourselves before forwarding it to others.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.
To all the political parties and leaders, ruling or opposition, please don’t be a part of the problem. Be part of the solution. For a better future, for a better nation.