23, Aug 2018 | CJP Team
In February 2018, fake news of forced conversion of Dalits in Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh began to circulate on social media. It emerged that this was a willful campaign on misinformation, designed to pit Dalits against Muslims. CJP complained to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The UP State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has now directed the District Magistrate to investigate and act on the complaint.
The rumours were worded in an inflammatory manner with the unambiguous objective to spark conflict between Dalits and Muslims who have hitherto coexisted in harmony.
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First there were rumours that street signs were being changed as Gautam Nagar was being renamed Islam Nagar. A tweet by one Prashant P Umrao openly alleged that 1500 Dalits lived in fear of conversion in Amroha. Interestingly Umrao was exposed as a ‘one man hate factory’ by Alt News. The tweet may be viewed here:
Fake news about forced conversion of Dalits and the possibility of changing the name of the Gautam Nagar neighbourhood began spreading like wildfire at a time when UP was already on the boil in wake of the clashes in Kasganj. Gautam Nagar is a Dalit neighbourhood that has a 42 per cent concentration of Muslim population and the objective of this hate filled campaign was clearly to foment violence between the two marginalised groups.
Our letter to the NHRC may be read here:
The complaint was forwarded by the NHRC to the UP SHRC which has now directed the District Magistrate to submit an action taken report by Sept 11, 2018. The SHRC’s letter to the DM may be read below: