Against the backdrop of the recent communal clashes Haryana, Mukesh Kumar, the resident editor of propaganda outlet Sudarshan News tweeted on August 8 that the Gurgaon police commissioner had been receiving calls from the news channel Al Jazeera to investigate and take action against Hindus. He added that the commissioner was under so much pressure from Al Jazeera that she was detaining Hindu activists from wherever she could. The tweet also carried an image of Gurugram police commissioner Kala Ramachandran and the Al Jazeera logo. (Archive)

The same was further amplified by other users such as @MrSinha_, @arunpudur, users who share and amplify misinformation on a regular basis. (1, 2)

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On August 11, Sudarshan News tweeted from their official Twitter handle that their resident editor, Mukesh Kumar, had been abducted by some goons from the Sector 17 area of Gurugram. (Archive)

Subsequently, Suresh Chavhanke, editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, and other journalists from the propaganda outlet such as Abhay Pratap Singh, Sagar Kumar, Pankaj Kushwaha also shared the same claim. Other users such as Ajeet Bharti, Cyber Huntss, Dainik Bhaskar senior reporter Sachin Gupta, and Right Wing propaganda outlet OpIndia further amplified the claim that Mukesh Kumar has been abducted.

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Fact Check

Since Sudarshan News and the viral social media posts mentioned that Mukesh Kumar was abducted by goons in Gurugram, we checked the official Twitter handle of Gurugram police for updates on the matter.

We noted that Gurugram Police had shared a press note on their Twitter handle in relation to the tweet made by Mukesh Kumar and the abduction allegations by Sudarshan News. The press note in Hindi can be translated as:

“Person arrested for a false and misleading tweet.

Gurugram: 11 August 2023

  • On 08.08.2023, a tweet was made from the Twitter handle @mukeshkrd on the basis of baseless, untrue and misleading facts. Taking cognizance of the matter, Gurgaon Police registered a case under Section 66C of the IT Act and 153B, 469, 501, 505 (1) (C) under IPC at Cyber ​​East police station, Gurugram. The investigation of this matter was being done by the police team of Cyber East, Gurugram.
  • Today, on 11.08.2023, a person named Mukesh, who tweeted misleading and untrue facts, has been arrested by the team from Cyber East police station, Gurugram in the above-mentioned case. The investigation of the prosecution is ongoing.”

We also found news reports regarding the arrest of Sudarshan News’ resident editor Mukesh Kumar.

On August 11, Sudarshan News editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke tweeted calling the arrest of Mukesh Kumar illegal and also asked why the police personnel who arrested him were not in uniform (Archive). He made another tweet at 11:12 pm saying that if Mukesh Kumar wasn’t released he would make an announcement. The tweet in Hindi can be translated as: “If Mukesh Kumar is not released, I will make a huge announcement tomorrow. Let’s see who all Hindu men are with us. The impotent ones are silent even after knowing everything. Such nerve of some authority and all are helpless…? We are not helpless…#ReleaseMukeshKunar”. (Archive)

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At 11:39 pm on August 11, Suresh Chavhanke again tweeted that Mukesh Kumar had been released on bail. Others from Sudarshan News also shared the same news. (Tweet 1 and 2)

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We reached out to Gurugram police commissioner Kala Ramachandran to confirm the above and she said that Mukesh Kumar had been released on bail by the JMIC (Judicial Magistrate First Class).

Therefore, the claim shared by Sudarshan News, its staff and OpIndia that Mukesh Kumar was kidnapped by goons in Gurugram is false. Sharma was arrested by the Cyber crime branch of the Gurugram police for sharing a tweet about the Gurugram commissioner. Gurugram police has also described Kumar’s tweet about Al Jazeera influencing the investigation into Nuh clashes as ‘baseless, untrue and misleading’.

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