On April 14, Maktoob Media published a report headlined, “Muslim youth attacked with a sword by man returning after watching ‘Kashmir Files’.” Siasat also reported that the accused was on his way back home after watching ‘The Kashmir Files’ when he attacked the youth.
Based on this report, several Facebook accounts made the same claim including verified page Indian American Muslim Council, AMU Citizens [over 1.5 lakh followers] and AIMIM Samastipur – Bihar [over 1 lakh followers]. Some Twitter accounts also made this claim.
Karnataka State Police Fact Check said that the incident took place in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka on April 13. The accused is 30-year-old Honnappa Bovi and the victim is 18-year-old Amanullah Irfan. Both are neighbours.
“Though the incident of assault is true, the motive for the same is not ‘The Kashmiri Files’ movie as alleged. It took place purely due to personal reasons. However, the incident has been twisted to depict as if it is a hate crime,” wrote the police.
— Karnataka State Police Factcheck (@kspfactcheck) April 15, 2022
An FIR was registered at Haliyal police station under Indian Penal Code sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by using dangerous weapons), 307 (an attempt to murder), and 504 (an intentional insult to provoke breach of peace).
Alt News contacted Nilammanavar Ranganath at Haliyal PS. He said, “There is neither any communal angle to the incident nor does it have anything to do with ‘The Kashmir Files’. The accused was arrested on the same day of the crime.” He added, “The preliminary probe has revealed that it is purely the outcome of personal reasons. The arrested accused stated in custody that his mother is specially-abled and Amanullah, who lives in the same locality, used to tease her. To avenge his mother, he stabbed him with a sharp-edged weapon.”
We also spoke with sub-inspector Shivanand. He said, “The accused used a knife. The social media claim that the accused used a sword is false.”
Furthermore, the victim’s father told Alt News, “It is absolutely wrong to give communal colour to the incident. My son was attacked by a man who was in an inebriated state. Hindus from the village have come forward in our support and they are the ones who even helped us get the FIR registered.”
We contacted Amanullah’s uncle Sameer Jamnur, who is the complainant in the FIR. He said, “We were completely in dark about the exact cause that led to the incident. Later the police informed us about the confession the accused made in custody.”
Thus, it is concluded that pictures of an injured Muslim youth are being circulated with the false claim that a Hindu man attacked him after watching ‘The Kashmir Files’. According to the police and the victim’s father, the incident did not have a communal motive.
A day after the story was published, Maktoob Media tweeted, “We are retracting the story” and apologised for the error.
We are withdrawing the story and apologising for our poor judgement. We will be committed to upholding integrity in work.
— Maktoob (@MaktoobMedia) April 15, 2022
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people contribute towards the same. Please consider donating in support of this endeavour to fight misinformation and disinformation.
To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD, click here.