Such is the left’s proclivity to spread fake news that they find themselves spreading fake news while reporting on fake news.
Bar and Bench, which reports on court cases, today carried an article on the FIR that was registered by the Ghaziabad Police against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi, The Wire, Twitter and others. But Bar and Bench chose a strange headline to report the development. “UP Police registers FIR against Twitter, The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Shama Mohamed, Mohammed Zubair for tweeting Ghaziabad attack video,” the headline read.
Bar and Bench clearly went through a lot of trouble to create this article — they made a graphic with the photos of all the persons named in the FIR, and added the logos of The Wire and Twitter. But the headline itself was so inaccurate that it was almost certainly intentionally worded in a way to try to mislead its readers.
Unlike what the Bar and Bench would like you to believe, the FIR wasn’t merely filed tweeting a video, but for spreading misinformation that the victim was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram”. All the people named in the FIR had given a communal spin to the muted video, and had falsely claimed that the victim was being made to chant Jai Shri Ram. The FIR alleged that these tweets were published with a criminal intention to spread disharmony among communities.
Even the sections in the FIR pertain to spreading communal discord, and not just tweeting a video — the accused were booked under Sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion etc.), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Yet Bar and Bench, in its headline, made no mention of the fake news of the forcible Jai Shri Ram chant that these people had spread, and instead made it appear that the FIR had been filed for just sharing a video. More egregiously, Bar and Bench’s article made no mention of the fake news, and simply said that the “UP Police has maintained that the attackers were both Hindus and Muslims and the reason for the attack was a personal dispute and not communal.”
What Bar and Bench headline and article said was technically correct, but hid so much information its intent could’ve been nothing other than to mislead its readers. Bar and Bench’s headline was tantamount to saying that the World Trade Centers had collapsed after a fire — it is technically true, but without any information about the planes that had hit the tower and caused the fire in the first place, the article can only serve to misinform readers. With Bar and Bench now displaying such obvious bias while openly misleading its readers, one can only wonder how far to trust its coverage of India’s courtrooms and legal systems.