Kashmiri Journalist Fears for Life After Website Calls Him ‘Hindu Hater’

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Raqib Hameed Naik

“As a Kashmiri, this puts me in more danger. Anyone can come and bump you off and no one would ever know who did it”

 Mohd Aasif | Clarion India 

NEW DELHI – After the publication of a profile article describing him as a ‘Hindu hater’ on the website, Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN), journalist Raqib Hameed Naik wrote to the Delhi police on Saturday, complaining about the possible threat to his life.

In a letter to Deputy Commissioner of Police, IPS Eish Singhal, Raqib requested him to register an FIR against individuals running SHHAN for defamation by including his name in the hit list of “Hindu haters”.

“Given the recent lynchings, and attacks on individuals whom a certain section thinks as their enemy, I am apprehensive of a similar attack and I may be targeted while performing my duty as a journalist. This altogether irresponsible article has threatened my freedom to work and live”, his letter reads.

Calling the article published by SHHAN a blatant lie, he said the organisation had misappropriated the stories he had done. “My reports on Rohingya refugees living in India have been cited as evidence against my sympathy towards terrorism. My coverage of political, social and conflict-related issues in Kashmir has been cited as my tendency towards separatism”, he wrote in the letter.

Talking to Clarion India about the seriousness of such a campaign, Raqib said that mere rumours could get one killed and this kind of labelling makes a person an enemy of nearly one billion people.

“As a Kashmiri, this puts me in more danger. Anyone can come and bump you off and no one would ever know who did it”, he pointed towards his special demographic feature.

“Hit lists like these shouldn’t be taken lightly. These extremist groups have a tendency and capability to organise real-world violence apart from running online slander campaigns”, said Raqib.

The Delhi police have tagged its special cell.

SHHAN, as per its policy, finds out people whom it calls Hindu haters for being anti-religion. According to the website, Zakir Naik, Syed Salahuddeen, Hafiz Saeed, slain terrorists, LeT, ISIS, Al Qaeda, TRF, IM, JeM, TTP, ISIL-Khorasan, Hizbul Mujahideen, SIMI, Naxals, Maoists, Support Ghazwa-e-Hind, Support Free Kashmir, Free Nagaland or Dravida Nadu are Hindu haters.

The organisation claims that all information written on profiles is aggregated from open sources on the internet i.e. tweets, posts, articles etc. “Stop Hindu Hate does not intentionally apply embellishments or opinions in addition to facts”, its ethics policy reads.

Apart from Raqib, the website showcases individual personalities, independent media organisations, educational institutions and other human rights organisations as Hindu haters.

Journalist Vijay Prasdhad, Co-Founder FOIL, Prof. Biju Mathew, Journalist Sharjeel Usmani, Asst. Prof. Ather Zia, The Wire Founder Siddharth Varadarajan, Associate Professor Audrey Trushke, Journalist Rana Ayyub, Prof. Ashok Swain, South Asian American Activist Deepa Iyer, Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Lawyer and Professor Khaled Beydoun, JNU, JMI, AMU and Rutgers University, Hindus for Human Rights, FOIL, Students Against Hindutva Ideology (SAHI), Equality Labs (Ambedkarite South Asian Organisation), Stand With Kashmir, USCIRF (Religious Freedom), Scroll, Alt News, The Print, The Wire are among the hit list of SHHAN.

 

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