Meet Rashid Khan from Bulandshahr. He strongly believes that it is absolutely normal for Aftab to have chopped Shraddha into 35 pieces. Where are we headed?😢😢
Meet Rashid Khan from Bulandshahr. He strongly believes that it is absolutely normal for Aftab to have chopped Shraddha into 35 pieces. Where are we headed?😢😢 pic.twitter.com/xo85Bwsvwq
— Priti Gandhi – प्रीति गांधी (@MrsGandhi) November 21, 2022
Aftab Amin Poonawalla murdered his girlfriend Shraddha Walker with whom he was in a live-in relationship in May 2022 and cut her into 35 pieces which were disposed of around 20 days. After a long enquiry following Shraddha’s father filing a missing complaint, police nailed Aftab on November 2022 and he is under investigation. The murder received universal condemnation, deservedly, but following the uncovering of Shraddha’s murder, various videos are spread with motive to create communal violence many of which were found to be fake.
This video is shared on social media by many right wingers in which the person claims that Aftab is right in murdering Shraddha, and it is normal. After making this shocking statement, he identifies himself as Rashid Khan in the video. Using that, the video is shared with a communal angle with a malicious intent to stir communal violence. Some of the posts can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.
What’s the truth?
The video shared in social media is cut from a 11-minute uploaded in the Janata Darbar. In the video, a man justifies & normalizes Shraddha’s murder and says that he would have cut her into 36 pieces. He also identified himself as Rashid Khan.
Following this, many right wingers in social media shared the post with a communal angle and burst out in social media. A popular right-wing website OpIndia had written an article with a similar tone.
श्रद्धा मर्डर केस पर कुछ शान्तिप्रिय लोग मीम बना रहे हैं
कुछ शान्तिप्रिय आफ़ताब को हीरो बता रहे हैं
और अब बुलन्दशहर के राशिद ख़ान उस खून को उचित बता रहे हैं
— Pradeep Bhandari(प्रदीप भंडारी)🇮🇳 (@pradip103) November 21, 2022
Following the outrage, he was arrested by the Sikkandrabad Police and Bulandshahr Police had released a video statement on Twitter in which it is confirmed that the person is Vikas and not Rashid Khan as claimed by him.
सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से दिल्ली में बना एक वीडियो संज्ञान में आया था जिसमें एक व्यक्ति द्वारा स्वयं को बुलन्दशहर का निवासी बताते हुए आप्पत्तिजनक टिप्पणी की थी प्रकाश में आये अभियुक्त को थाना सिकन्द्राबाद पुलिस द्वारा गिरफ्तार किया गया है इस सम्बन्ध मे वरिष्ठ पुलिस अधीक्षक की बाइट pic.twitter.com/AyTLBvdTgu
— Bulandshahr Police (@bulandshahrpol) November 25, 2022
In another video published in TNT World, the same person identifies himself as Vikas Kumar which was uploaded in YouTube on 22nd November 2022.
Interestingly, in both the videos which are 5 days apart, the person can be wearing the same clothes and it appears that there is another person with him in both videos with same clothes.
His Aadhar card has been shared in social media with a rebuttal to the initial claim that he is a Muslim but Sweta Goel Sharma, a journalist working in Swarajya, still claimed that he could be a recently converted Muslim with a possible connection to Tablighi Jamaat and the ‘journalist’ cited her experience in covering religious conversion.
Given my experience with covering Dawah activities, I feel he is a recent convert. I am saying this irrespective of what he said, of which I have little idea. A very likely Tablighi connection https://t.co/Sf2W6Lxgpy
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) November 25, 2022
Ever since the murder of Shraddha came to light, many fake news and misinformation is spread with a communal angle. Some of those fake news which we have debunked are listed below.
- Old video of a Russian girl getting beaten up is shared as the plight of Hindu girls
- An old video of domestic abuse in a Muslim family is shared as love jihad
- A murder by Prince Yadav is spread with an insinuation that it was committed by a Muslim.
- ‘Love Jihad’ conversion rate card is more than a decade-old fake news
In our search, we find that the viral claim that a Muslim man named Rashid Khan justifying Shraddha’s murder by Aftab is normal is misleading. The person in the viral video is actually Vikas Kumar and the video is shared by many with an intent to create communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims.