In the afternoon of October 4, Rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra alleged in a tweet that a man named Rupesh Baisoya was murdered in Delhi by “Bangladeshi drug mafia”.

A couple of hours later, he tweeted a video of himself reiterating the same, adding that Baisoya was murdered because he protested against drug peddlers allegedly operating from illegal Bangladeshi slums in Taimoor Nagar. Mishra blamed the Delhi Police for aiding these drug mafias and demanded that the slums are immediately abolished. He has posted the video on both Twitter and Facebook, drawing a combined view count of over 24,000.

An hour after posting this video, Mishra tweeted that he visited Baisoya’s family. He reiterated for the third time that the Delhi resident was murdered by “Bangladeshi drug mafia.”

Following Mishra’s claims, a Twitter user Manu Gurjur posted a CCTV footage of Rupesh Baisoya being shot in the chest. He too claimed that the Delhi resident was murdered by “Bangladeshi drug mafia”. In a thread of tweets, Gurjur further alleged that no action was taken by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi police, and no media outlets covered the incident.

Gurjur’s tweet was retweeted by several people on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForRupeshBaisoya. Among them were those followed by senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi (1, 2, 3).

What is the truth?

The incident occurred on September 30 and Delhi police arrested the alleged perpetrators on October 4. None of the three arrested men is “Bangladeshi.” According to a Hindustan Times report, the perpetrators were caught in a separate case of robbery when they stole a bike, gold chain and mobile phone at gunpoint on the night of October 2.

During interrogation, the men also confessed about their involvement in the murder of 34-year-old Rupesh Baisoya who shot dead outside his residence, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vijay Kumar, per an NDTV report.

The police identified the arrested men as Akash from Sangam Vihar, Ajay Rathi from Rajpur Khurd and Suraj from Kishangarh. Rathi was found carrying a pistol.

When Alt News spoke to DCP Vijay Kumar, he confirmed to us that the aforementioned three men were arrested, however, Suraj was an accomplice who wasn’t directly linked to the murder. DCP Patnaik also added that none of the three is a Bangladeshi or drug mafia but residents of Delhi who have been involved in other crimes as well.

“On Sunday, after stealing a vehicle, the accused went to buy drugs from a woman in Taimoor Nagar. They got into a brawl with the seller, following which they tried to flee the spot when Rupesh stopped them, the police said. Fearing arrest, Akash shot at Rupesh and fled the spot,” said a report by The Hindu.

An Indian Express report from October 2 mentioned that Baisoya was vocal about a rampant drug problem in his locality. He had lodged several complaints with the police. The family said this often led to death threats. However, no media report has linked the murder to “Bangladeshi” drug mafias and moreover, the police have already arrested the alleged perpetrators who are all residents of Delhi.

In recent times, a noticeable increase in animosity against alleged ‘Bangladeshi infiltration’ is visible. Social media is brimming with false claims suggesting that crores of illegal migrants are taking refuge in the country and in such situations, a sitting MLA circulating misinformation can have serious and dangerous repercussions. Kapil Mishra’s unsubstantiated claims are nothing short of fear-mongering. His video is still present on his Twitter profile and Facebook page a day after the police have caught the alleged criminals.  The MLA has neither apologised for spreading disinformation nor has he clarified that the case has no links to ‘Bangladeshis’.

[This article has been updated with referring Kapil Mishra as ‘rebel’ AAP MLA. The article also referred to DCP South East Delhi incorrectly as Amulya Patnaik, which has been corrected.]

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High time there should be a law for people spreading fake news.