On 4 July, the news organisation Amar Ujala reported that few men locked up Mohammad Aatib, an auto driver, in a washroom and pelted stones at him. The incident took place on the night of Wednesday, 3 July, in Kanpur’s Babu Purwa area. As per the report, the allegation is that the men attacked Aatib for refusing to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Several social media users, including journalist Saba Naqvi, tweeted about the incident with a similar claim.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim that the auto driver was beaten because he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is false. He confirmed to The Quint that he was never asked to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The reason for the attack is completely different.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Mohammad Aatib, who identifies himself as Aaqib, told The Quint that he was not asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
According to him a few men asked him to drop them home in his auto.
“At first, I refused to do so and asked them to talk properly. Then, while we were on the way, they asked me to stop the vehicle and when I stopped, they started beating me.”Mohammad Aatib, Auto Driver
Ajmeri, victim’s father, also confirmed to The Quint that there was no communal angle to the entire incident.
The same was also reiterated by South Kanpur Additional Superintendent of Police Raveena Tyagi who said that the claim that Aaqib was asked to raise ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is completely fake.
She said, “There is no communal angle to this incident. It is true that a fight happened but he was never asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans.”
However, according to Aaqib, he didn’t know the accused but ASP of Kanpur Chakresh Mishra said that in their investigation they found that the accused and the victim do know each other.
“The two might not be friends, but they live close to each other and in our investigation we have found out that the families knew each other.”
However, he too denied that Aaqib was forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ He further added, “Three men have been arrested and an FIR has been filed against those who were spreading fake news.”