On April 20, 2018, the leading Hindi daily, Danik Jagran, published a story that became viral and sensational. But interestingly, the story was deleted later.
The story written by Advesh Chauhan from Jammu claimed that the eight-year-old Bakarwal girl from Kathua was not raped. To support the claim, the author wrote that the two post-mortem reports mention the injuries and not the rape. Newsclick tried to access the story online, and found that the story has been deleted from the website. The headline of the story was ‘Bada Khulasa: Kathua ki bachi se nahi hua tha Dushkaram (Big expose: Kathua girl was not raped)’
Investigative platform Cobrapost had exposed several Indian channels, media portals and social media pages that distributed false information and peddled Hindutva ideology to mislead people for electoral gains. Dainik Jagran had appeared in the list, unsurprisingly. The Cobrapost had said, “Indian media houses do have the propensity to influence India’s electoral process through undesirable means.”
The story by Dainik Jagran was shared by several Right-wing handles on Twitter. Based on the story, many users rushed to tweet opinions on the social media platform along the lines of: ‘Conspiracy to defame Hindutva has been exposed.’
However, it has been confirmed by the Delhi Forensic Science Laboratory (DFSL) that the vaginal swabs of the eight-year-old Bakarwal girl have matched with the samples taken from the accused. The evidence is seen as a breakthrough for the investigating team of Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch, who were accused by the Right-wing of defaming the Hindu community.
Images from AltNews
Fourteen packets of evidence including vaginal swabs, hair strands, and blood samples of four accused, viscera of the deceased victim, the girl’s attire, simple clay and blood-stained clay were examined by the Delhi Forensic Laboratory. The test samples have been found positive – confirming the rape of the victim.