[Warning: Visuals may be distressing for some. Reader discretion is advised.]
A 53-second video clip of police officers investigating a suitcase stuffed with the dead body of a young woman dumped allegedly near Gurugram’s Iffco Chowk is going viral on social media. It is being claimed that the woman was a victim of ‘love jihad’, a conspiracy theory according to which Muslim men trap Hindu women for conversion to Islam.
Twitter user @shefalitiwari7 shared the viral clip and wrote, “Are the souls of Hindu girls dead? Don’t they have any attachment to their religion and culture? If it is like this we will continue finding bodies in suitcases such as this. One more Hindu girl was found in a suitcase who had trusted her Abdul. Near Gurugram Iffco Chowk. Search is on .” (Archive.)
It is pertinent to note that the word ‘Abdul’ is among the ever-growing list of words used by the Hindu Right Wing, as a proxy for Muslim men.
Anand Kalra, who according to his Twitter bio, is the BJP district social media head, Ghaziabad, tweeted the clip and wrote, “The body of a woman aged 20 to 25 years was found in a suitcase near Iffco Chowk. The woman’s arms and legs were also broken. Seeing the dead body, it seems that the murder took place a few hours ago. An FIR has been registered in the matter. Efforts are on to identify the body of the woman. It is being said that it could be a case of love jihad”. (Archive.)
Unlike others, Kalra did not make a direct claim that this was case of ‘love jihad’.
None of the users, however, explained why they suspected/concluded that there was a communal angle to the crime.
Taking note of the captions, we performed a Google search using relevant keywords and found several news reports related to the discovery of a body near Guruguram’s Iffco Chowk. On October 17, Hindustan Times reported that the body of a woman was found stuffed in a suitcase at Iffco Chowk on Monday. It was found around 4 PM after an auto-rickshaw driver spotted the suitcase in the bushes along the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, and alerted the police.
The thumbnail of the report by Hindustan Times carried a photo that appeared to be of the location.
The reports also added that there were several burn marks on the body, which as per the police, looked like made with a cigarette butt.
Alt News also found a video report by Punjab Kesari. Speaking to the media, Deepak Saharan DCP (West) said that the woman appeared to be 20-25 years of age and the body had been sent for autopsy. The DCP also confirmed that the body was discovered by an auto-rickshaw driver.
Readers should note that neither in these reports nor in the DCP’s statement, was there any mention of a communal angle to the crime suggested by the use of the phrase ‘love jihad’ in the tweets.
गुरुग्राम सूटकेस में मिला युवती का शव, फरार आरोपी की तलाश में पुलिस
#Gurugram #Crime #Haryana #Investigation #Deadbody #Cybercity
गुरुग्राम के इफको चौक पर एक लड़की के शव मिलने से पूरे इलाके में सनसनी फैल गई.. दरअसल पुलिस को सूचना मिली थी की इफको चौक के पास झाड़ियों में एक लावारिस सूटकेस पड़ा है.. सूचना मिलने के बाद पुलिस मौके पर पहुंच तफ्तीश शुरु कर दी.. जब सूटकेस को खोला गया तो उसमें लगभग 25 साल की युवती का शव नग्न अवस्था में पाया गया.. फिलहाल पुलिस ने शव को कब्जे में लेकर पोस्टमार्टम के लिए भेज दिया है.. वहीं डीसीपी दीपक सहारण की माने तो पुलिस इफको चौक के आसपास लगे सीसीटीवी खंगालने में जुट गई है, डीसीपी दीपक सहारण ने दावा किया है कि आरोपियों की जल्द ही पहचान कर गिरफ्तार कर लिया जाएगा
Posted by Punjab Kesari Haryana on Monday, 17 October 2022
Upon doing a subsequent keyword search, we found a news report by Navbharat Times published on October 19, where the deceased had been identified as Priyanka and the accused was named Sunil, her husband.
For further verification, we watched the press conference of Gurugram Police led by ACP Crime Preetpal Singh. In this statement, the ACP clearly identified the accused as Rahul. The police also mentioned that the victim had married Rahul in 2021. It was a love marriage. Immediately after that, they started fighting with each other. The police also added that they have recovered the knife with which the accused tried to remove the tattoo of the deceased. [Watch from 2:28 / 7:15.]
Alt News also accessed a copy of the FIR pertaining to the case. Here, the name of the complainant is Sunil Kumar, the auto-driver who first discovered the suitcase in the bush. Additionally, Alt News spoke with SHO Haresh Kumar under whose supervision the FIR was filed. “To my knowledge, there’s no angle of love jihad. The FIR was indeed filed at my police station but the case was transferred to the CIA branch.”
We also reached out to a CIA officer who was part of the investigating team. The officer clarified that there was no communal angle to the case. The accused is a Hindu and hails from the Kushwah caste, and the victim, Priyanka, belongs to the Yadav caste.
To sum it up, the murder of a woman by her husband was given a communal spin on social media as a case of love jihad. This is not the first time that a crime was given the communal twist. Alt News has, in the past, debunked several stories where social media users bogusly communalized criminal acts.
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