Fact Check

Fake News and False Narratives on Kashmiri Students’ Safety: How It is Dividing India

Kashmiri students

In the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack, a series of fake news is being spread by some media platforms and social media talking heads. We have already busted some of that fake news related to Pulwama terror attack. We have also busted the lies of NDTV & The Wire journalists on CRPF pension claim. The fake news that the attacked CRPF convoy was earlier denied an air transit, has been busted already. Then the fake news claiming that BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had waved towards people from the truck which was carrying the mortal remains of a martyr, has also been busted. Now in most recent example, the fake news claiming that the Kashmiri students are being attacked across the nation is on the rise.

Before we elaborate on the issue, here are the key takeaways:

  • Most claims of attacks on Kashmiri students proved to be rumors and fake news.
  • The administration and CRPF have put a firm mechanism in place to address any concerns after Pulwama terror attack, a step which has already shown results.
  • Besides this, the related posts from social media talking heads seem to be only adding to panic, and not doing any public good.
The Imagined Fault Line between Kashmiris and the Rest

Many of the claims of attacks on Kashmiri students have been proved to be just rumors. In the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack, there has been a massive emotional outpouring across the nation. One wonders why few people are trying to make it a battle of sorts between rest of India vs. the Kashmiri community. In fact, raising the false alarm by falsely portraying that the Kashmiri people and students are being attacked across the nation, simply serves the purpose of our enemies. Arguably, Pakistan and the terrorists are expecting the same, which is, to create a division between Kashmiri community and the rest of Indians.

Shehla Rashid Spreads Fake News

In an incident, JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) student Shehla Rashid has spread fake news on Twitter claiming that some 15-20 Kashmiri girls were trapped in a hostel in Dehradun with an angry mob outside demanding their expulsion from the hostel.

However, Uttarakhand Police has categorically dismissed this as a mere rumor.

Even the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand has asserted that no such incident of harassment has taken place in the state, and his administration is committed to take actions against any law-breakers and also the rumor-mongers.

Shehla Rashid who initially had spread the fake news, later agreed in her tweet that the incident had nothing to do with ‘Pakistan’ as she had assumed earlier.

An FIR has been registered against Shehla Rashid for allegedly trying to incite “a community to commit offence, indulging in wanton vilification and provoking someone to breach peace” in the wake of Pulwama terror attack.

How Government Has Ensured the Kashmiris’ Safety

Long before the social media talking heads have shown their concern over the safety of Kashmiri students, the Central government had issued an advisory to the states to ensure the safety of people from Jammu and Kashmir on February 16 itself.

The CRPF which had opened a helpline to help J&K students and general public, had found that most of the complaints about Kashmiri students being harassed have been proved to be just rumours. The CRPF also said that the fake news about harassment of students is aimed at provoking hatred, and asked people not to spread such posts.

“Kashmiri Students Under Threat”: How the Narrative of Panic Was Spread

As explained above, the administration has put a comprehensive redressal mechanism in place in which not only the people’s fears have been addressed, but also the rumours were effectively busted.

On the contrary, social media posts of some social media talking heads seem to have aimed at creating panic among the Kashmiris while driving a wedge between the Kashmiris and other Indians…Here are some of the examples.

 

 

 

The above tweets only demonstrate the hyperbole that has gone around on the social media about Kashmiris being under attack. In fact, the innocent Kashmiris are leading a daily normal life outside the state with the administration making sure that they are safe and secure. So, in conclusion, it may be said that the ‘Kashmiri students under attack’ narrative undermines India’s self-interests.

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