In the wake of the alleged murder of Shraddha Walkar by his partner Aftab Amin Poonawala, the video interview of a man claiming to be Rashid Khan from Bulandshahr went viral on social media where he says that when a man is angry, “he can make 36 pieces (of another person) instead of 35”, apparently suggesting that in a fit of rage, a man might lose control over himself. His comments were seen as justifying Poonawala’s alleged actions. On being asked if he has any experience in this field, he can be heard saying that he would also do the same if he gets angry. The full interview was uploaded on the Janta Darbar YouTube channel.
Right Wing propaganda outlet OpIndia wrote an article titled, “’35 क्या 36 टुकड़े भी कर देता… बस चाकू बजाते जाओ’: श्रद्धा मर्डर पर बुलंदशहर के राशिद खान को सुनिए, आफताब के किए को ठहरा रहा ‘जायज’”. In the article, they elaborated on the statements made by Khan in the interview. (Archive)
OpIndia also tweeted the clip wherein Khan is heard making the controversial statements. (Archive)
35 कम है… 36 टुकड़े कर देगा बुलंदशहर का राशिद खान
— ऑपइंडिया (@OpIndia_in) November 21, 2022
Editor-in-chief of YouTube channel Jan Ki Baat, Pradeep Bhandari, tweeted the video and in the caption, mentioned the name of the man as Rashid Khan. (Archive)
श्रद्धा मर्डर केस पर कुछ शान्तिप्रिय लोग मीम बना रहे हैं
कुछ शान्तिप्रिय आफ़ताब को हीरो बता रहे हैं
और अब बुलन्दशहर के राशिद ख़ान उस खून को उचित बता रहे हैं
— Pradeep Bhandari(प्रदीप भंडारी)🇮🇳 (@pradip103) November 21, 2022
Ritesh Kashyap, a journalist with RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya, tweeted the video asking viewers to ‘understand what their mindset is and where they are getting their training from’.
बुलंदशहर के रहने वाले राशिद खान के अनुसार जब किसी आदमी का दिमाग खराब होता है तो 35 की जगह 36 टुकड़े भी कर देता है!
अब आप समझ सकते हैं कि इनकी मानसिकता क्या है और इन्हें यह प्रशिक्षण कहां से मिल रहा होगा! pic.twitter.com/hA4OnFskP0
— Ritesh Kashyap (@meriteshkashyap) November 21, 2022
Activist Jyot Jeet, who has a verified Twitter account, tweeted the same clip with the hashtag #LoveJihad_ActOfTerrorism.
Aftab ने Shraddha के 35 टुकड़े किए उसपर ये Rashid Khan कह रहा है “Mood ख़राब होता है तो आदमी लड़की के 35 क्या 36 टुकड़े भी कर देता है…”
Tukde Tukde करने की Technique बता रहा है कि “छुरी लो और बजाये चले जाओ…”😡
— Jyot Jeet (@activistjyot) November 22, 2022
Several other users also tweeted the clip.
Alt News found another video interview of the same man on a YouTube channel named ‘TNN World’ where he identifies himself as Vikas. In that interview, he can be heard saying that Aftab murdered Shraddha because she must have done something wrong. He further states that since Aftab cut Shraddha’s corpse into 35 pieces, Aftab should be cut into 75 pieces. At 1:52 of the video, when the reporter asks if his name is Vikas, he says, “Aur Kya! daari se Mommedan lag raha hu, par Hindu hnu aur kya. Aadhaar card dekhle bhai”. (Translation: My beard makes me look like a Muslim, but I’m a Hindu. Check my Aadhaar card”.)
We also found that the official Twitter handle of Bulandshahr Police put out a video statement wherein they said that the man’s name was Vikas and not Rashid Khan. Police said that the person seen in the video had been arrested and the viral clip was shot in Delhi. they also said that five cases against Vikas had been filed prior to this incident.
सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से दिल्ली में बना एक वीडियो संज्ञान में आया था जिसमें एक व्यक्ति द्वारा स्वयं को बुलन्दशहर का निवासी बताते हुए आप्पत्तिजनक टिप्पणी की थी प्रकाश में आये अभियुक्त को थाना सिकन्द्राबाद पुलिस द्वारा गिरफ्तार किया गया है इस सम्बन्ध मे वरिष्ठ पुलिस अधीक्षक की बाइट pic.twitter.com/AyTLBvdTgu
— Bulandshahr Police (@bulandshahrpol) November 25, 2022
Journalist Sachin Gupta also tweeted that ‘Rashid Khan’ who had justified the crime allegedly committed by Aftab turned out to be Vikas Kumar. He has been arrested.
आफताब द्वारा किए गए 35 टुकड़ों को जस्टिफाई करने वाले कथित “राशिद खान” को आखिर UP की बुलंदशहर पुलिस ने ढूंढ निकाला। वो राशिद नहीं, विकास कुमार निकला। आरोपी विकास अरेस्ट है।#Delhi #Bulandshahr #Up pic.twitter.com/zfIuzKn3QL
— Sachin Gupta (@sachingupta787) November 25, 2022
Journalist Aditya Tiwari also tweeted the police findings. Tiwari also tweeted an image of Vikas Kumar’s Aadhaar card where his date of birth has been mentioned as January 1, 2004.
दिल्ली में आफताब द्वारा किए गए 35 टुकड़ों को जस्टिफाई करने वाले कथित “राशिद खान” को आखिर UP की बुलंदशहर पुलिस ने ढूंढ निकाला
वो राशिद नहीं, विकास कुमार निकला, आरोपी विकास अरेस्ट, एसएसपी का बयान
“ऐसे जाहिलो की वजह से समाज में विश्वास टूट रहा और समाज प्रदूषित हो रहा” pic.twitter.com/KAZN86Qzpz
— आदित्य तिवारी / Aditya Tiwari (@aditytiwarilive) November 25, 2022
A video of Vikas Kumar speaking to a journalist after being arrested for his inappropriate comments was also found. On being asked why he identified himself as Rashid Khan, he says “Everyone called me Rashid there. I didn’t know that this incident would reach so many people”.
Vikas Kumar who identified himself as Rashid Khan in a viral video where he is heard sharing his inappropriate comment on the Shraddha Walker murder case has been arrested by UP’s Bulandshahr police. pic.twitter.com/OB70AfS9Hd
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) November 25, 2022
After the identity of the man came out in public domain, OpIndia clarified in a tweet that the man in the video had been identified as Vikas Kumar (Archive). They also published a new article with the police updates titled, “खुद को राशिद बता 36 टुकड़े करने की कर रहा था बात, UP पुलिस ने पकड़ा तो आफताब का ‘हमदर्द’ निकला विकास जाटव: कहा था- चाकू बजाते जाओ”.
After the police statement was released, Swati Goel Sharma, a journalist with the Right Wing news outlet Swarajya, made the claim that Vikas Kumar had recently converted to Islam and very likely had a Tablighi connection.
Given my experience with covering Dawah activities, I feel he is a recent convert. I am saying this irrespective of what he said, of which I have little idea. A very likely Tablighi connection https://t.co/Sf2W6Lxgpy
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) November 25, 2022
Alt News spoke to Bulandshahr Police who confirmed that the accused was named Vikas Kumar and not Rashid Khan. On being asked whether Vikas Kumar had recently converted to Islam, the Police said that they had no such information yet.
Hence, the man making inappropriate statements about the Shraddha Walkar murder case in the viral video shared by several prominent figures is actually Vikas Kumar, and not Rashid Khan, as he himself claimed in a video.
Corrigendum: In an inadvertent error, it was mentioned in the article that a journalist had claimed that Vikas Kumar had recently converted to Hinduism. The article has been updated. The error is sincerely regretted.
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