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FIR against Assam-based news website over ‘fake news’
The brother of a research scholar of the Gauhati University has lodged an FIR against editor of a Guwahati-based news portal ‘InsideNe’ for implicating his sister in a “fake news” related to eating beef.
Rofiqul Islam, brother of research scholar Rehana Sultana, has filed the FIR against Afrida Hussain, editor of ‘InsideNE’, at Boko police station in the Kamrup district, the police said.
“The news portal is circulating one screenshot, which they claim was posted by my sister on August 12, the day of Eid. This claim is untrue, malicious and made with an intent to create unrest in the society on religious line,” Islam said in the FIR.
“Amid increasing scrutiny of social media platforms for ‘hate speech’ and other forms of ‘insensitivity’, a post by a Gauhati University PhD scholar has set the alarm bells ringing,” the portal wrote in a news published under the headline “Gauhati University Girl Relates Eating Beef with the Joy of Pakistan”.
The news reads the girl took to Facebook on the day of Eid and wrote, “Today, we are also participating in Pakistan’s joy by gorging on beef! What I eat, depends on the interest of my taste buds! However, don’t make yourselves the subject of controversy simply by talking about the taboo subject of ‘beef’.
Islam said his sister had written the post in 2017 in the context of a India-Pakistan cricket match. She had written that satirical post to express her sadness that India lost and Virat Kohli was out on a duck. Since the beef controversy and people being attacked for it was making news at that time, she wrote it that way, he said. Her friends objected to the post and she deleted it immediately and also issued a clarification, he added.
“It’s deliberate misrepresentation and suppression of facts by the portal to spoil peace ahead of the publication of NRC,” he said.
Calling it defamatory, he said the portal was spreading misinformation, fake news and promoting enmity on the grounds of religion, he said and added, it had led to hate and sexually abusive comments against my sister, Islam said.