Fact Check: WhatsApp messages claimed a “minor Hindu girl” was gang-raped inside Tahir Hussain’s house during Delhi Riots
Asiaville fact-checked social media posts that claimed that a minor Hindu girl was gang-raped and murdered inside the suspended AAP Councillor's house in Delhi’s Chand Bagh. During our investigation, we found that the claims were false and we also tracked down the real identity of the victim.
Yesterday evening, in a WhatsApp group related to women’s commission updates, a message from a specific member rattled everyone. It claimed that a minor Hindu girl had been gang-raped by Muslim rioters inside the house of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain. The WhatsApp forward further claimed that the minor girl was murdered, and her body disposed of in a nearby drain. The person had forwarded an image of the minor girl as well. Soon after, he was called out for forwarding unverified news and seeking a response from the commission on an unverified WhatsApp forward. The member was soon removed from the group. The same claim is being propagated on different social media platforms - majorly by accounts with a strong right-wing leaning.
Asiaville fact-checked the claims being made in the WhatsApp message. Unsurprisingly, we discovered that not only are the claims made in the WhatsApp message untrue, but it was not even related to Delhi.
Before we get into the details, here are the basics. During the Delhi riots, which began on February 23, Hussain’s house was taken over by the rioters. The house, located in North East Delhi’s Chand Bagh area, was used by the arsonist mob to attack properties owned by Hindus, and retaliate or contain the arsonists marching from the localities dominated by rioters belonging to the Hindu community. Several videos, from February 25, show the rioters using Tahir Hussain’s house’s rooftop as a launchpad to carry out arson. Ankit Sharma, an official attached to the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was murdered during the riots in Chand Bagh, and his body was recovered from a drain located barely a few metres from Tahir’s house. Delhi Police has booked Tahir in connection to Sharma’s murder.
A Hindi TV channel, Sudharshan News, reported that women’s undergarments were found on the ground floor of Tahir’s house.
Notably, the WhatsApp forwards claimed that the minor victim’s name was Jyoti Patidar. The claims of her murder and gangrape were spread across all the social media platforms. One Facebook user named Varsha Tiwari shared the post about the alleged incident on March 1. The post has been shared over 780 times at the time of publication of this story.
Similar claims were made on Twitter. Around seven in the evening on March 1, one Twitter handle @aaravmit shared claims regarding the girl’s murder during the Delhi riots using the hashtag #HangTahirHussain.
A website called National Duniya had carried a report in Hindi making similar claims. The loose translation of the headline was – undergarments of 13-year-old Jyoti Patidar was found in Tahir Hussain’s house, body found in drain, is it not terrorism?
Fact Check results:
We used the Google Image Reverse Search feature to find out the authenticity of the claims being made. In the results, we found out that Jyoti Patidar was a resident of Madhya Pradesh and not Delhi.
Patidar belonged to MP’s Agar Malwa district’s Susner administrative block. She was 16-years-old and not 13 as being claimed in the fake news.
According to reports published by MP based Hindi dailies, Patidar was found dead in her own house on February 19. Her body was found in a charred state and she was declared brought dead by the doctors. On February 20, her post mortem was carried out by the medical team.
Notably, on February 25, locals had taken out a rally to register their protest against MP police alleging that they had failed to crack the murder mystery. According to Dainik Bhaskar, the protesters had given an ultimatum of two days to the Susner administration to crack the case.
In fact, according to Hindi daily Nai Duniya, on March 1, women protesters from her village Parsuliya Kalan had carried out a road blockade demonstration for nearly four hours seeking justice for Patidar. Ironically, on the same day, fake news in her name was being peddled on social media platforms.
The claims of Patidar being gang-raped and murdered inside Tahir’s house during the Delhi riots are false.
The said girl belongs to Madhya Pradesh and not Delhi. She had died on February 19 and Delhi riots started on February 23.