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Four Muslim youth arrested over namaz inside Lulu Mall: How the usual suspects in media spread fake news to malign Hindus

Author: Amit Kelkar
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: July 19, 2022
URL:      https://www.opindia.com/2022/07/lulu-mall-namaz-usual-suspects-arfa-rohini-singh-sayema-spread-fake-news-maligned-hindus/

The arrest of Hindu men for reciting Sundar Kand outside Lulu Mall presented an opportunity for the usual suspects like leftist ideologues Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Rohini Singh, and RJ Sayema to malign Hindus and accuse them of posing as Muslims for offering namaz inside the mall.

The Lucknow police on Tuesday arrested four persons for performing Namaz at the newly opened Lulu mall in the state capital, videos of which had gone viral on the internet and sparked a massive controversy. The arrested men were identified as Mohammad Rehan, Aatif Khan, Mohammad Lokman, and Mohammad Noman.

The suspects were arrested under sections 153A(1), 341, 505, and 295A of the Indian Penal Code.

The development came days after social media platforms were awash with videos from Lulu Mall in Lucknow, where a group of men were seen offering namaz. The videos triggered a raging controversy over the use of public places for religious purposes. Several Hindu organisations protested against turning the mall into a place of worship, with many announcing Hanuman Chalisa and Sundar Kand recitals inside the mall.

One such protest by Hindu organisations took place on July 15, three days after Muslim men performed namaz inside the Lulu Mall. However, police arrested three men, ostensibly Hindus, for gathering at the mall entrance and reciting Sundar Kand. Later on Twitter, the Lucknow police shared a press note informing about the arrest.

Usual suspects peddle disinformation maligning Hindus over the Lulu Mall namaz row

However, the usual suspects, forever on the prowl to shield Islamists, quickly pounced on the press note and twisted it to malign Hindus. Citing the Hindus arrested in the case, they weaved a warped narrative that involved painting apprehended Hindus as Muslims and accusing them of defaming the Muslim community by assuming their identity and performing namaz inside the mall.

Arfa Khanum Sherwani, a journalist with the leftist propaganda website The Wire and known for her penchant for spreading fake news, peddled disinformation that ‘Sanghis’ were arrested for offering namaz inside the mall.

Her colleague, Rohini Singh, also joined her in the routine exercise of shielding Islamists. Without sharing evidence to substantiate her claims, Singh took to Twitter to declare that those offering namaz at Lulu Mall in Lucknow were “actors” who wanted to stir social unrest. Singh also pontificated that it does not behove good on the majority that “actors” knew that people would get triggered at the sight of namaz inside the mall.

In less than 24 hours since Singh posted her tweet, the Lucknow police revealed the names of youth arrested for offering namaz in the mall, all of whom turned out to be Muslims. Yet, Singh did not bother to delete her tweet or offer an apology for peddling disinformation on Twitter.

Radio Mirchi’s Sayema, who has often displayed little hesitation in promoting fake news that serves to bolster Islamist propaganda, also shared the misinformation being peddled about the arrest of Hindu men. Sayema quoted Khabeer’s tweet and promoted the misinformation that Hindu men posed as Muslims to offer namaz inside the mall.

Ahmed Khabeer, Editor of the Islamist propaganda portal The Jamia Times, shared a screenshot of a tweet posted by Lucknow Police to allege that Hindus posing as Muslims had offered namaz in the mall.

However, the arrest of four persons involved in namaz inside the Lulu Mall and their identities revealed has served as a body blow to the usual suspects who had desperately tried to implicate Hindus in the matter so as to cover up for the Islamists and their tendency to turn public spaces into places for communal prayers.

The Lulu mall in Lucknow, the largest in Uttar Pradesh, was embroiled in a conspiracy just days after it opened after a video of a few people offering Namaz inside the mall went viral on July 12. In reaction to the incident, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha announced that a Sundarkand recital will be held within the mall. The Hindu Mahasabha cancelled the Sundarkand recital after the mall’s management apologised for the Namaz incident.

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