Amid incidents of widespread post-poll violence in West Bengal, that has led to the death of around a dozen people, several social media users are claiming that a college student was allegedly raped and killed by “peaceful masons” and linked it to the violence that ensued after Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the recently concluded Assembly elections.
However, we spoke to police officers and a local reporter who said that none of the three people who have been arrested are Muslims. They further denied any political angle to the incident.
BJP’s Saumitra Khan shared images with a claim that the college student was raped and killed by “goons.” He further linked the incident to Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras case that took place in September 2020 and wrote, "there was political juice (motive) in Hathras, but not in Medinipur?"
(Note: The Quint has not included any links in the story to protect the girl’s identity.)
Facebook users claimed that “peaceful masons” were behind the incident.
Some claimed that the victim was a supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and TMC supporters were behind the incident.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We searched for news reports on the incident and came across an article by Anandabazar Patrika that was published on 4 May and mentioned that the incident took place in Pingla area in Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal.
An article carried by the Bengali vertical of Hindustan Times stated that the college student was allegedly raped and killed in a house and as many as three people, including a woman, have been arrested.
ACCUSED NOT MUSLIMS: LOCAL REPORTER
We got in touch with a local reporter who denied any communal angle to the incident and said that none of the three arrested are Muslims. While describing the incident, the reporter said:
“The victim’s new house was being constructed and three masons were working at the site, which include two men and one woman. The victim’s dead body was found in the house and there is no political angle to the incident.”A local reporter.
POLICE DENIES POLITICAL & COMMUNAL ANGLE
We spoke to two police officers regarding the incident and on being asked if there is any truth to the claim that there are communal and political angles to the incident, one of them said, “These are rumours. Three people have been arrested including a women and we are waiting for the post-mortem report. We will take action against those spreading rumours.”
Further, Sankha Chatterjee, sub-inspector, Pingla police station denied any communal and political angles to the incident.
“None of the accused are Muslims. Out of the three arrested, two men are adivasis and one woman belongs to Hindu community. The accused have been identified as 27-year-old Bikash Murmu, 35-year-old Chootu Munda and 37-year-old Tapati Patra.”Sankha Chatterjee, sub-inspector, Pingla police station
Fact-checking website BOOM spoke to the victim’s uncle who also said that she wasn’t a BJP worker and that there is no political angle to the incident.
Evidently, an incident of a woman being allegedly raped and killed was communalised by many social media users with some falsely claiming that there is a political angle to it.
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