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People Are Spreading Conspiracy Theories About The Rape And Murder Of An 8-Year-Old Girl

One newspaper even published an entirely fictitious story claiming the girl was not raped, with only a small disclaimer that the article was not real.

Posted on April 25, 2018, at 5:47 a.m. ET

Hindu “truthers” are spreading conspiracy theories about the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl that has shocked India.

A student prepares a banner before participating in a protest against the rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl.
Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters

A student prepares a banner before participating in a protest against the rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl.

The victim was from a Muslim family, and, according to the police report, her rapists were Hindu men, including three police officers who allegedly conspired to abduct, drug, and rape the girl before killing her.

The police charge sheet says the motive behind the murder, which took place in a village near Kathua in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, was to drive the girl’s tribe — pastoral Muslim nomads — out of land claimed by Hindus.

Some of the conspiracies over the girl’s murder are based on right-wing “ground reports” that present selective facts, while others are outright lies.

A few weeks after the charge sheet was first covered by the press, some newspapers began to speculate that the rape had never occurred.

As it appears, in the end, it will be the #media who raped our society There was No #Rape in #Kathua case, says both Medical reports. she was murdered somewhere else & her body was thrown in #Rasana Village. Whole conspiracy to defame #Hindus is exposed #KathuaBahanaDeshNishana https://t.co/9UfMUtP7Hl

@Dikshants112 / Twitter

The Sunday Guardian newspaper published an entire conspiracy theory about how the girl was never raped — written as news, with the actual names of all the characters mentioned in the charge sheet — with only a small disclaimer at the bottom that the story was a work of "fiction."

Sunday Guardian

In an interview with the Scroll.in news website, the newspaper’s publisher defended running the concocted story by saying: “Satire is often used together with 'real names' but here it was made clear it was fiction and a concoction. Fake news when passed off as true is certainly worrisome but when explicitly presented as such, the same judgment would be too harsh.”

Meanwhile, internet detectives began to speculate about an 8-year-old’s hymen.

Why did Rajdeep Sardesai delete the first tweet claiming that he has a report that confirms rape in the Kathua murder case? The second tweet says, sexual assault and hymen not intact. Hymen-breaking can be due to various reasons: Cycling, rigorous exercise, physical labour etc. https://t.co/VeeAwuAlW0

@AsYouNotWish / Twitter

(Jammu’s police department actually had to issue a press statement addressing this rumor and stating that yes, the 8-year-old girl had been raped.)

Some people on Twitter have questioned the location where the victim was hidden and where her body was eventually found.

What non-sense? See table in holy Devasthan, Jammu's Rasana. Mufti's Muslim Police say Muslim girl was kept under this 2×3 feet table for days, raped and murdered. Can one hide 8-yr-old girl under it? Clearly a conspiracy against #Bharat #Hindus #Jammu #KathuaBahanaDeshNishana https://t.co/TVCnyQuHV0

@Prof_HariOm / Twitter

One more v basic question, Sanji Ram raped the kid for 7 days/night and had no time to dig a grave for her and hide the body? All he could do is just throw the body, that too near his own house? #KathuaKaSach. Any inputs @BDUTT ji?

@MODIfiedVikas / Twitter

Others asked whether some of the accused who were named in the charge sheet had even been present in the region.

Another lie caught.. Vishal Jangotra who is a student of BSc agriculture at akanksha college Mirapur UP was present at all days of exams. Police says that he used proxy for a day to go back to rape/kill kid Then how does all his signs match the attendance sheet ? #KathuaKaSach https://t.co/XXfY7XUzxu

@pss1987 / Twitter

(#KathuaKaSach means "the truth about Kathua.")

Twitter / Via Twitter: @dalipdutta

According to the police charge sheet, the chief suspect arranged an alibi for his son at college — the son then took a few days off college to visit the temple where the young girl was being raped.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @iSKatiyar

Right-wing Twitter accounts speculated that posters demanding justice for the child were made by ISIS.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @AsYouNotWish

To drive home the idea that secular Indians and Islamist agents are using the rape to “defame” India and Hindus, pictures of random tourists wearing T-shirts with the words “Women are not as worthy as cows in India” began to circulate online.

#kathuabahanadeshnishana these photos, allegedly taken at Istanbul airport are floating on social media, creating bad name for our INDIA. https://t.co/LqGST9sNwz

@Ashoka39572641 / Twitter

Accompanying captions on Twitter said that the photographs, which others said appeared to have been doctored, had been taken at Istanbul airport — a dog whistle to suggest the men wearing the T-shirts are Muslim. The hashtag in the tweet means "Kathua is an excuse to target India."

#KathuaBahanaDeshNishana This is realy shameful that how murder of a 8 year old kid is getting used to defame us &our country.This is a very big conspiracy by some power hungry people together with our enemies to defame us at international level.We are facing enemies from within

@Maninde83702985 / Twitter

Giriraj Singh, a minister from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who is known for asking Indians who disagree with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “go to Pakistan,” said the rape was yet another attempt to defame Hindus, hatched by “pseudo-secularists.”

One thing is becoming very clear ‘They’ have failed to establish Hindus as TERRORIST and now ‘They’ need a new theory to denounce Hindus … A well calculated campaign has started to brand Hindus as sadists…and we got ‘Hindu Rapist’ theory. #KathuaKaSach #HinduTerrorTheoryFlops

@sush091979 / Twitter

#KathuaBahanaDeshNishana congress is totally frustrated that it can take any step to grab powers. I think it is also under pressure from ISI and China too.

@Tejbhan75850210 / Twitter

People also asked why another horrific rape in the northeastern state of Assam, where the accused is a Muslim boy, hadn't attracted "as much outrage."

This led to the circulation of macabre cartoons, such as the one below.

In case people didn’t fully understand the theory that “rapes by Hindus” received more attention than rapes by other communities, this user made a helpful diagram:

Want to know about Rapes in India? See this non-sequential Hierarchical chart! #KathuaKaSach

@asraghunath / Twitter

Which finally leads us to the question of who raped and murdered the girl from Kathua if it wasn’t the group of Hindu men mentioned in the police charge sheet.

According to a recent and bizarre theory, she was killed by Rohingya settlers from Myanmar — who are Muslim.

@Swamy39 #KathuaCase is glare example of Islamists agenda of hounding Jammu Hindus. Entire villagers r labelled as criminals. media,police,system r all working against dem It looks like a fabricated plan for settlement of #rohingya & to change demographics of hindu majority kathua area.

@bjRishi / Twitter

The criminal trial into the girl's rape and murder begins on April 28.


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