A fight that broke out between two groups was reported by Sudarshan News as Muslims attacking and chasing ‘secularists’ with sticks for offering chadar at Jaspur dargah in Uttarakhand.

Sudarshan News editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke posted a tweet sneering at Hindus who offered chadar at the dargah. “For the first time in my life, I want to thank peacefuls,” he wrote. The word ‘peacefuls’ is social media terminology to deride the Muslim community.

The video uploaded by Sudarshan News was also shared by several social media users including Swami Darshan Bharti.

BJP UP leader Sanjay Rai and supporters of the party – Prashant Patel Umrao, Janardan Mishra, Abhishek Kumar Kushwaha, Dipti Singh and Pinku Shukla – amplified the claim. An imposter account @ThePushpendra_ in the name of journalist Pushpendra Kulshreshtha also claimed Hindus were chased and beaten for offering chadar in Jaspur dargah.

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Fact-check

Udham Singh Nagar police posted a reply below Sudarshan News’s tweet that said, “Kindly do not post rumours and false messages on social media”.

The police also added a screenshot of its longer statement on Facebook. It said that violence broke out between two groups on March 29 in Kalu Sidh Mazar, Patrampur, Jaspur in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district. A scuffle broke out between Amjad Ali and Abdul Hamid on the issue of donations and construction. FIR number 69/2021 was filed under multiple IPC sections based on statements of both parties. “A few people on social media are circulating the fictitious and false claim that Hindus were chased and beaten for offering chadar. But both groups hailed from the Muslim community,” the police statement said.

The incident was also reported by ETV Bharat. The outlet said in its initial report from March 29 that a minor issue led to a fight between worshippers and caretakers of the dargah on the occasion of Shab e-Bharat.

A follow-up report by the outlet informed that seven people injured in the violence were admitted to Jaspur government hospital. ETV Bharat said that the place of worship often sparks altercations. Some people claim their right on the Kalu Sidh Baba Mazar (shrine). The place has been embroiled in disputes for a long time, including on the matter of donations received. “When people were busy with Holi celebrations, a few people reached the shrine. A brawl over donations escalated to the extent that caretakers of the Mazar engaged in a fight with the group,” said the report.

The report also carries a statement of one of the youths who suffered injuries. He said that as soon as he stepped out of the dargah after offering namaz, the caretakers asked for a donation of Rs 50 when he offered Rs 10. He claimed that this led to an argument where he was beaten and subsequently lost consciousness.

A fight between two groups of the Muslim community was communalised by Sudarshan News and BJP members and supporters. False claim that Hindus were chased and beaten for offering chadar in Jaspur dargah is widespread.

[Update: BJP supporter Janardan Mishra was misidentified as BJP MP Janardan Mishra. This has been rectified in the report. The error is regretted.]

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.