Several people on social media have been circulating a story that claims a ‘Hindu Jain girl’ was taken away by a Muslim boy in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. It further adds that after the incident the Jain community decided to terminate all Muslim employees from jobs across the district and about 10,000 Muslims lost their jobs. As a result, the girl was returned in nine hours. The text ends by pointing out what can be achieved when a community is united.

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Posted by Durga Menon on Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The story is massively widespread on Facebook.

The complete story reads, ” Recently A Hindu Jain Girl was taken away by a Muslim Boy in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh State for marriage, All Jain Community Members had a Meeting in the district and it was decided unanimously that they will terminate All The Muslim employees from their jobs in their commercial and industrial establishments with immediate effect. The result was shocking, as more than 10,000 Muslims lost their employment, so their community elders, Religious and Community Leaders Called a Emergency meeting and decided to locate the Jain Girl and hand over her to her family. Within Nine Hours of incident reported the girl was traced and handed over to the family, this is called United Community Effective Victory of strict action initiated. Hats off to the Jain Community Members Unity in Nellore District. [sic]”

VIRAL SINCE 2019

Several people had also circulated the story on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter two years ago.

FALSE CLAIM

The first hint that the story is fictitious is the reference made to a ‘Hindu Jain girl’. Hinduism and Jainism are two distinct religions. Alt News reached out to B. Srinivasa Reddy, PRO to Superintendent of Police, Nellore in 2019. He stated, “The claim made in the viral text is fabricated to create differences between two communities.” On December 28, 2019 Nellore police filled a rejoinder stating that the viral text is “totally false” and issued a warning that criminal cases will be filed against persons spreading or propagating such rumours.

Reddy further informed that as per their investigation” the messages we initially sent from Mumbai and Ahmedabad and so far no arrests have been made”. He added that a similar message was shared in August 2019 but in Hindi. This message was exactly the same except that it claimed 550 Jain traders fired 1,800 Muslim employees.

The complete message read in Hindi, “नेल्लोर में एक मुस्लिम ने जैन लड़की को फुसलाकर लेके गया सुबह को और दोपहर को समाज की बैठक हुई 550 जैन दुकानों से फैक्टरी से मुस्लिम को कह दिया तुम अभी से ही नोकरी से छुटी है थोड़ी देर बाद सब समाज ने एक के बाद एक जैन समाज को सपोर्ट दिया शाम तक 1800 मुसलमान की नोकरियों पे नोबत आ गई तो मुस्लिम समाज ने वो लडकी को उसके घर सही सलामत छोड़कर आये और मुस्लिम लड़को को कह दिया की गलती से भी हिन्दू लड़की को जैन लड़की को ना देखे ये होती है एकता की ताकत अभी भी कुछ थर्ड क्लास दयालु कृपालु कम दिमाग वाले सेक्युलर डरपोक अभी भी हमे सलाह दे रहे है की इनलोगो से झगड़ा मोल नही लेने का !!! अभी तो वक्त है ये लोगो ने हमे मौका दिया है एकजुटता दिखाने का”

We found that the false message has in fact been doing the rounds at least since July 2019.

The claim that a Muslim boy abducted a Hindu girl who was returned only after the Jain community in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh terminated all Muslim employees is a fictitious tale. Nellore police has clarified that no such incident has taken place in the district and the viral message attempts to create communal differences.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.