Mumbai: Muslims in one voice are condemning the brutal rape of 08-year-old teen in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. They are also demanding death for him and urging a fast trial of the case they declared that the accused will not be allowed burial in Muslim cemetry.
However, the people whose sole agenda is only to spread lies and hate using fake news, and morphed and fabricated images are again at work.
In contrast to the popular stand of the Muslim community about the tragic incident, some news portals have morphed the images of a rally organised against the rape accused to claim that Muslims are demanding the release of the accused and that "Quran advocates rape of girls belonging to other religions".
The message, accompanied by a link to an article on a website indiaflare.com, is titled ‘क़ुरान में दूसरे धर्म की लड़कियों से बलात्कार जायज़, इरफ़ान खान को रिहा करो’ (Rape of non-Muslim girls valid according to Quran, release Irfan Khan- translation). In the article, there is a photograph which shows Muslim men marching on a street holding placards that say, ‘इरफ़ान को रिहा करो’ (Release Irfan). The article, published on July 1, has been shared over 16000 times till now.
Alt News - a fact check website, however found that the photograph which shows Muslim men marching in support of the accused is photoshopped. Alt News did a Google reverse image search and found that while the march did indeed take place in Mandsaur, it was in support of the victim and against the accused. The original photograph is posted below.
As can be seen, the text on the placard was tampered with. The original text says, ‘नहीं सहेंगे बेटी पर वार , बंद करो ये अत्याचार ‘ (Wont tolerate attacks on daughters, stop this brutality- translation). In the photoshopped image, this was deviously changed to ‘इरफ़ान को रिहा करो’ (Release Irfan). Not only the first placard, but also the text of the placard held by the person marching behind has been tampered with. ‘दरिंदे को फांसी दो ‘ (Hang the beast) has been changed to ‘रिहा करो ‘ (release him).
The article goes on to claim that no Muslim has descended the streets to ask for capital punishment for the accused, but have rallied in his favour, citing the Quran. It goes on to warn readers to not believe reports to the contrary which they may encounter on social media as they are untrue.
This claim is totally false. Firstpost has reported that Muslim groups in the region have strongly condemned the incident and demanded harsh penalty for the accused. Some groups have demanded death penalty for the alleged perpetrator and appealed to not allow his body to be lowered in any graveyard in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh is set to go for state eletcions later this year and the ruling party is facing tough opposition. The incident and the fake news are also used to polarise voters and gain political mileage.
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