On August 26, a video of four men mercilessly thrashing a man was shared on social media. A Twitter user posted the video and wrote, “Raju was beaten mercilessly by Tahir and his gang in a broad daylight in Ghaziabad.[sic]”

A day later, Sudarshan News tweeted a report with the headline ‘Goon named Javedi Ali beat two Hindu friends in a crowded the market, the administration is silent! Are Hindus safe in India?’ and tagged Ghaziabad and UP police.

Sudarshan News claimed in its report that Tahir masterminded the attack.

False communal spin added to the incident

On August 26, Dainik Bhaskar journalist Sachin Gupta tweeted the video and wrote in Hindi, “In a town named Khoda in UP’s Ghaziabad, a boy named Raju was beaten up on the road by murder accused Tahir, who is out on parole, and his associates to gain dominance. Two accused Vikas/Saurabh are arrested.”

The FIR doesn’t mention an accused named ‘Javedi Ali’. (view FIR)

A day prior to Sudarshan News’ report, Ghaziabad police posted a statement by Superintendent of Police (SP) Trans Hindon. The SP stated that the incident took place at Khoda region on August 19 around 7 pm. “Rajnish Kumar Jha of local NGO, Samajik Sangathan Sangharsh Sewa, was thrashed by Saurav, Vicky, Tahir, and Roshan and some unknown people at his office. The office was vandalised and they also fought with staff member Hritik and stole his phone,” he said and added Vikas and Saurav were arrested.

Alt News spoke with Madhur Shyam, SSI Khoda, on August 28. “This was an ordinary fight and two people have been arrested. The court case is pending and more people are yet to be arrested. There is no communal angle to this,” he said.

According to the FIR filed by Rajnish Kumar Jha, four accused were named — Vicky, Tahir, Sandip AKA Khali and Roshan. At least one unknown person is also named in the FIR. Jha pointed out that his staff member Hritik and his friend Raju Kumar were also beaten and Hritik’s phone was stolen. There was no one mentioned by the name Javed Ali. (view FIR)

Jha’s testimony in the FIR also states that Tahir is on parol due to his previous crimes. But it doesn’t mention what crimes.

Alt News reached out to Jha and he said, “I’m not sure why they attacked me. But I don’t think the incident was communal.” He also confirmed that he doesn’t know anyone named Javedi Ali.

When we enquired about Tahir’s past crimes he said, “Tahir stays just 300m away from me and I have heard about his past criminal activities including a murder case in 2016 or 2017.” Dainik Bhaskar also reported that he was accused of murder in the past.

To sum it sum, Rajnish Kumar Jha and two others were beaten by five individuals in UP’s Ghaziabad as per the FIR registered in the case. Three were from the Hindu community and one was from the Muslim community. At least one unknown person is also named in the FIR. Unlike Sudarshan News’s report, the victim stated that there was no one named Javedi Ali and clarified that the incident wasn’t communal. Tahir’s name was highlighted on social media to inject communal overtones.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.