Fact-Check: Communalized news circulated on social media about Moradabad ‘exodus’ circulated by several popular media houses
A few days ago, a picture of a poster advertising houses ‘for sale’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad started to make rounds on social media. This prompted many verified social media handles to raise their concerns that a Hindu ‘exodus’ was happening in this neighborhood. According the claim, the 81 houses in this locality were being forcefully sold to people from the minority community. Many news media outlets were quick to write about these claims without really verifying whether it was true or not.
Zee News anchor Aman Chopra did an entire segment on this supposed exodus claiming that this forced exodus is happening because of a ‘Muslim population explosion’ and that the women of the neighborhood were complaining of harassment. He even had a guest speaker Vinod Bansal from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad who basically juxtaposed the incident with the creation of Pakistan. Other news media outlets such as OpIndia, RepublicTV and Times Now also reported on the issue that these 81 houses were somehow being taken over by the minority community.
Upon looking into the matter, we found out that two of the houses in the neighbourhood were sold to members of the minority community and once this happened, others in the neighborhood began to put up signs that they want to sell their houses because of this apparent infiltration of minorities.
The uproar on social media and the large media coverage prompted Moradabad Police to investigate the matter and launch a probe. On August 3, 2021, the police issued a statement on social media that their investigation revealed that firstly, no one was living in those two houses bought by members of the Muslim community and secondly, no one is going to be forced to vacate their properties if they do not want to.
Deliberate Hate-Mongering Perpetuated by Zee News, OpIndia and Republic TV:
While Moradabad Police was quick to issue a statement and investigate the matter, this move was not paid heed to by Zee News, OpIndia and Republic TV. They went ahead and wrote pieces and broadcasted segments without verifying the claims made by the residents. They went ahead with the narrative of minorities taking over Hindu neighbourhoods feeding into the narrative that “Hindu khatre mei hai”. None of the articles written by these outlets have a mention of the statement made by the concerned authorities. This is deliberate hate-mongering in its twisted form. The communalisation undertaken by these outlets on a regular basis is extremely dangerous to the fabric of this nation where minorities versus majority is already such a contentious issue. We at DFRAC condemn this irresponsible and deliberate misleading of the masses by these media outlets.