Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
RANCHI — Muslims, along with Adivasis, Dalits, and other minorities have launched a campaign to boycott the popular Hindi Newspapers – Dainik Jagran and Prabhat Khabar in Jharkhand. They have urged the people to boycott the newspapers as well, burnt their own copies and held a signature campaign against the Hindi dailies.
At the centre of this controversy against the aforementioned dailies is a report on mob lynching that was published on the front page of Dainik Jagran’s Jharkhand edition, on July 12. According to the report, there was an attempt to lynch a child kidnapper, in Jamshedpur’s Azadnagar on July 11. The accused, Ashish Mukhi alias Ramesh Mukhi, was apparently beaten up by a mob in the Muslim-concentrated area and stones were pelted on the police.
But locals and eyewitnesses said that the incident was misreported by the Dainik Jagran. A child kidnapper was trying to kidnap a kid. But his uncle caught the culprit red-handed and handed him over to the police without causing any harm on either side. However, after the incident came to light, people gathered at the local police station and raised slogans to punish the culprits. The only objectionable thing that happened during the protest was that when the protesters were going back, a person pelted a stone towards the police station.
Talking to media persons, Jamshedpur City SP Subhash Chandra Jat also confirmed that the culprit was safely handed over to the police, and no violence was committed against him.
“A family caught a man kidnapping their child in Zakir Nagar. The administration wants to thank the family and the people who caught the kidnapper and handed him over to the police without causing any violence,” said Chandra, while addressing the media.
The statement made by the Jamshedpur SP is contradictory to the report published in Dainik Jagran. This apparent misreporting by the Hindi newspaper has caused outrage among people living in those areas, owing to which, this was taken to the streets to protest against the same. They have gathered the signatures of around 15000 people who are in support and have also submitted a memorandum in the name of the President of India on the issue to the local administration. They are also planning to file an FIR against the newspaper.
“This misreporting by the Dainik Jagran has deeply hurt the sentiments of not only Muslims but other sections too and is spreading hatred against Muslims. This is not fair journalism. Therefore, people in Jamshedpur have been boycotting and urging people to boycott the Hindi Daily”, said Kashif Raza Siddiqui, State President of Bahujan Kranti Morcha, while speaking to Caravan Daily.
Hindi Dailies have been accused of misreporting several times in the past – especially about Muslims and related incidents. Earlier, another Hindi daily, Hindustan, misreported a protest held against the mob lynching in Meerut. They wrongly attributed black flags waved at the protest to the flag of terror outfit IS. This misreport was exposed by the fact-checking website altnews, and the news portal The Quint, respectively.