Video Editor: Varun Sharma
The rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor shocked the nation this week. That didn’t stop some people including a BJP MLA and the party’s supporters from giving this incident a false communal spin and in turn trivialising the incident, even while the family was grieving. Hyderabad Police has now promised action against such people.
A day after the charred body of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was found on the outskirts of Hyderabad, police arrested four people identified as Mohammed Areef (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, all residents of Narayanpet district in Telangana.
Accused Are From All Communities: DCP
Speaking with The Quint, a senior cop debunked any narrative which suggested a communal angle to the incident.
“It is absolutely not communal in nature as the accused are of all communities so it is incorrect to say it is anything related to religion.”DCP Prakash Reddy
Reddy also assured that the police will take action against those spreading rumours and disinformation.
“We will definitely take action against those who are giving this a communal angle. It is not related to any religion. All offenders will be caught and punished.”DCP Prakash Reddy
Speaking to fact-checking website Boom Live earlier, a Cyberabad Police official said, “This is only causing more worry to the parents.”
‘Knew Someone Like a Mohammed Would be Behind the Incident’: BJP MLA Raja Singh
At around 1:41 pm, Goshamahal (Telangana) BJP MLA Raja Singh tweeted a video in which he is talking about the incident. He went on to say that they had expected that someone like a ‘Mohammed’ would be named in the incident.
Urging the police to arrest the remaining three accused, Singh demanded quick action.
However, the truth is that the police has identified the other three accused as Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu and not just a ‘Mohammed’.
According to the police, Shiva offered to get the victim’s punctured bike repaired, while the prime accused Areef, Naveen and Chennakeshavulu took her to an abandoned room near the toll plaza and raped her.
However, Raja is just one of many people who tried to give a communal spin to the case while the investigation is still underway.
‘Arrest of Hindus a Balancing Act?’: Suresh Chavhanke
Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan News went a step ahead questioning the police action and asking the central government to investigate if the other three have been arrested under pressure.
“I want to ask if the other three have been arrested to balance the arrest of the Muslim man in the case. I demand G Kishan Reddy (MoS Home Affairs) to investigate the matter,” Chavhanke said.
But as per the details revealed by the police, all four were involved in the crime. As per the cops, Areef suffocated the victim by putting his hand over her mouth and nose till her death. After this, the Areef and Chennakeshavulu drove away with the girl in the lorry while the other two went on the victim’s bike to collect petrol.
The victim was then burned in the underpass by the accused, the police added.
But disregarding the facts, a false narrative, mentioning the name of only the Muslim accused, was shared by many prominent people on Twitter.
Postcard news Founder Mahesh Hedge posted a message on Twitter clearly stating that the culprit of the case was a ‘Peaceful’, a word used sarcastically for Muslims, referring to the oft-made statement that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’.
Prashant Patel, who is known for spreading misinformation online, too trained his guns at just one accused – Mohammad Pasha.
Even the national In-charge of BJP’s IT Cell, Amit Malviya, didn’t shy away from naming only one accused.
#Balatkari_Mohammed_Nikala Trending on Twitter
But disinformation doesn’t stop here.
One of the top trends on Twitter today was not demanding justice for the victim, but was targeting one religion.
Editor’s note: The purpose of this article is not to focus on the religion of the perpetrators but to bring out the facts and stop the communalisation and trivialisation of a heinous crime.
(Update: This story was updated with DCP Prakash Reddy’s reaction 10 hours after it was first published.)
(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on Whatsapp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at email@example.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)