A set of two photographs of a couple and the woman among them injured is circulating on social media. “In Assam, this madam left her husband and young child married Zahir Hussan. Now Hussain is making a beautiful panting on her face,” reads the accompanying caption which suggests that Hussain abused her. The pictures were shared on a group ‘I Support Arnab Goswami’.
[Translated from: असम की ये मैडम जी अपने पति और छोटी सी बेटी को छोड़कर एक कटपीस जाकिर हुसैन के साथ निकाह कर रुबिया बन गईं थी! अब हुसैन इनके हूर जैसे खूबसूरत थोबड़े पर लाजवाब पेंटिंग बना रहा है.]
It has also been shared on Twitter.
Alt News found that a 2012 incident was given a communal spin on social media. According to July 1, 2012, report by The Hindu, Assam Congress MLA Rumi Nath and her second husband Jakie Zakir were beaten up and injured in a hotel in the southern Karimganj town.
The media outlet further said, “It was on May 22  that Ms. Nath’s first husband Rakesh Singh lodged a First Information Report with the police alleging that his wife was kidnapped after she went missing the previous day. But Ms. Nath surfaced in Guwahati on June 2 and said she was not kidnapped and that she was away on a holiday trip to Agartala. Ending media speculation, she also announced that she and Mr. Zakir had been married, and that her papers for divorce with her first husband were ready.”
India Today had also reported the incident and said that the couple was attacked by a 100-strong mob. Nath alleged that the gang of men tore off her clothes and attempted to rape her. The police had arrested five people in the case. The image viral on social media was picked up from a report by the media outlet. In an interview, Nath said that the mob tried to “rape and murder her.” When asked if she thought that the attack had communal motives, she alleged a “politically conspiracy.”
Other media outlets—NDTV, Hindustan Times—had also reported the incident.
A subsequent report by The Indian Express said that Nath’s first husband later filed an FIR against her and her second husband “accusing them of bigamy, illicit relation as well as theft.” The report also said that Nath had “admitted to having married for the second time without divorcing her first husband.”
Two years later, Nath lodged an FIR against her second husband. “Jackie Zakir, the second husband of Congress MLA Rumi Nath, was arrested by police this evening on charges of extortion and physical assault,” according to Assam Tribune. Jakie, however, denied the allegation and cited “political motive” behind Nath’s move.
A seven-year-old photograph of a Congress MLA injured in a mob attack was falsely shared as a Hindu woman, who had converted to Islam after marriage, beaten up by her Muslim husband.
Viral since last year
“In Assam, Hindu woman quit her husband, kid to marry Zakir Hussain & became Rubiya What’s Zakir Hussain did to her after marriage!” was a message shared by the Twitter account History Of India (@RealHistoriPix) in October 2019, drawing nearly 1,000 likes and over 500 retweets.
Twitter account Congress Mukt Bharat (@sagenaradamuni) also shared the images and alleged that a Hindu woman who married a Muslim man was subjected to domestic violence. The post attracted nearly 500 retweets.
The claim had also been made in Hindi. Twitter user Manjeet Bagga (@Goldenthrust) shared the images with the same Hindi message currently viral. Bagga’s tweet had 6,000 likes at the time of writing this article.
The Hindi message had been shared by many on Facebook, including the page ‘Rss Uttarpara Nagar’.
It was, in fact, viral on both Facebook and Twitter.
[This article was updated on September 9, 2020.]
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.