In Bihar, an incident in the Katya police station area of Gopalganj district has come to the limelight for the last few days. A number of misleading claims are being made on social media over the incident that took place in Beladih village on March 28.
A minor died when he drowned in the river, but a month after the incident, it is being given communal colour by linking it to a mosque. The police have registered an FIR against a portal called ‘OpIndia’ and ‘Khabar Tak’ in the case to disturb the communal harmony.
According to the report, on March 28, some minor boys from Beladih took 15-year-old Rohit Jaiswal along with them for playing cricket. Most of these boys were Muslims and some Hindus. But Rohit did not return home at night, and the family began to worry. In the morning, his family began searching. In the meantime, a teenager named Priyanshu Kushwaha said that he had drowned in the River Khnum, 2-3 km away from the village. The villagers evacuated the body of Jaiswal from the river.
The family members of the deceased alleged that the Muslim youths killed Rohit’s and then threw his corpse into the river. Rohit’s father Rajesh Jaiswal had lodged a designated FIR against 6 persons in the police station.
The police took prompt action and remanded five accused to judicial custody. Out of 5 arrested, 4 are minors. They have got the bail from the court and the sixth is still being described as absconding.
About one and a half months after the incident, the matter came up again when a website named “OpIndia” on May 9 reported linking the incident to the mosque. The report claimed that the Hindu child was sacrificed to “make the mosque powerful”. The report also claimed that after police torture, the aggrieved family has left the village and has gone to the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh.
“OpIndia” quoted Rajesh, the father of the deceased, as saying that “Some Muslim boys came on March 28, 2020, and took Rohit on the pretext of playing cricket. Then he was sacrificed in the mosque and later tied with a heavy thing and thrown into the river.”
The report has named the deceased Rohit Jaiswal and age 15 years. The “Op-India” piece went viral on social media and was picked by many other websites, when such reports started coming, the Gopalganj incident fake news spread like a fire.
The Police have refused any communal angle in the murder
Lallantop looked into the matter. In which these claims were found to be incorrect. The investigation said that 15-year-old Rohit Jaiswal was killed in the village of Gopalganj district of Bihar. However, after the investigation into the entire incident, the Bihar police has categorically denied the sacrifice or any communal angle.
“The incident happened on March 28, 2020,” said Manoj Kumar Tiwari, SP, Gopalganj. On 29th March, the boy’s body was found in the river. The police have registered a case and taken action. But there is no Hindu-Muslim angle. The police investigation has not revealed the sacrifice of the child. All the top officials, including DIG of Saran range, have been investigating the matter at the site.
Mother of deceased denies sacrifice claim
In addition, the mother of the deceased Rohit, who spoke to the Asiaville Hindi, refused to accept the claim of sacrifice on social media. Rohit’s mother Indu Jaiswal said, “We cannot tell that our boy has been sacrificed. We cannot say about the sacrifice, because we have not seen with our eyes. We will not lie. Anybody in the village will tell that the boys had called him and thrown his body.”
It may be recalled that the DIG of Saran range also held talks after the investigation into the incident. DIG categorically stated that the CID investigation into the death of Rajesh Saha’s son is going on. However, the news related to the incident has been linked to the construction of the mosque in “Op-India” and “Up to the news” is wrong. I have done my own verification. In this way, social harmony will deteriorate.”
He further said that FIR has been lodged against “op-India” and “Khabar Tak” in Katya police station and further action is being taken.
Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey has denied the incident as murder. He said that the evidence so far shows that Rohit’s death has been caused by drowning. Police are investigating the reasons for drowning.
“The media people have researched themselves very deeply, have inspected the spot, also made a scientific enquiry. The post mortem report has been studied. All the witnesses’ statements have been taken and they have come to the conclusion that the incident is murder and has been made for some religious reason at the religious place. The media today has become so evidenced that they are running news in their own way,” he added.