On the day of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India, the national capital has witnessed unprecedented violence. A Delhi police constable has lost his life in the riots that have ensued in the national capital in wake of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Another DCP has been injured during clashes between two groups in Delhi’s Gokulpuri. In the midst of all this, the photograph of a certain gun-wielding rioter wearing a maroon t-shirt has gone viral on social media. Some people claim that the gun man who opened fire at police during Delhi riots is from the ‘rightwing’ while others have claimed that the said person is a Muslim rioter.
Several Muslim anti-CAA rioters went on a rampage after a clash broke out between Pro-CAA and Anti-CAA groups in Maujpur near Jeffrabad, thereby leading to open firing in an attempt to intimidate the cops countering the mob, heavy stone-pelting and vandalism of public property. However, despite all evidence to the contrary, the usual suspects on Twitter are trying hard to blame ‘Bhagwa terror’ for the ruckus.
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A video of the man confronting a policeman with a gun has also spread like wildfire on social media. In the video, the man can be seen pointing the gun at the policeman as the latter stands his ground. Later, stone-pelters join him and that is when the policeman moves back from his original position.
Unabated rioting in #Delhi. Vehicles on fire, petrol pump torched, shops vandalised & here is a protester brandishing his gun & firing in the air while pointing it a cop #DelhiPolice. All this justified in the name of ‘peaceful’ #CAA_NRC_Protests ? #Bhajanpura @IndiaAheadNews pic.twitter.com/vdTYoks6Js
— Sourav Sanyal (@SSanyal) February 24, 2020
Ananya Bharadwaj, a senior assistant editor at The Print, has now revealed that the man has been identified as Shahrukh, one local. Attempts are on to arrest him, however, official confirmation of the same is still awaited.
— Ananya Bhardwaj (@BhardwajAnanya) February 24, 2020
Amidst all of this, the behaviour of one particular ‘media outlet’ has been very questionable. The featured image of a report shared by the Leftist anti-BJP propaganda outlet The Quint shows the same man in the presence of people wearing skull-caps with evidence of arson in the background. The colour pattern of the clothing matches perfectly with the same as the gun-wielding man.
However, for reasons that are known best to The Quint, the featured image of the report was changed as of the time of writing this report. But we can safely guess what those reasons might be. The featured image that was used by The Quint was actually captured by the PTI.
The high-resolution image of the same as shared by The Quint which is still available on Google makes it pretty clear and obvious that it is the same person. The attire of the people in the photo makes it pretty clear that the person was with those from the Muslim community.
Furthermore, a video shared by Aishwarya S. Iyer, senior correspondent at The Quint, further confirms that the baskets which can be seen in the above pictures were being carried by people from the Muslim community.
From ground zero walking right towards the epicentre of violence between Jaffrabad/Maujpur area of north-east Delhi.
On one side are anti-CAA protesters from Jaffrabad & on the other side are pro-CAA protesters from Maujpur.
— Aishwarya S Iyer (@iyersaishwarya) February 24, 2020
Intriguingly enough, the current featured image of the report on The Quint appears to show the same area and the same scene but without the gun-wielding man in it. The current featured image makes it abundantly clear the nature of the mob the gun-wielding man was trotting around with.
Thus, quite clearly, it appears that The Quint deliberately made an attempt to hide the political affiliations of the gun-wielding man so that rumours could be fueled about the same on social media. The propagandist nature of The Quint is quite well known and at OpIndia, we have documented their propagandist inclinations quite significantly. Earlier, Facebook had removed a fake ‘Fact-Check’ by The Quint where the propaganda outlet claimed that the slogan “Hinduon Se Azadi” was never chanted by the Jamia students.
The Quint had also tried to whitewash the Islamist attack on Durga Puja visarjan in Balrampur. It was also forced to delete a sob-story video of an alleged Muslim cab driver it had published earlier in the day in order to fuel an anti-NRC sentiment across the country. The deletion came after filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri accused the propaganda website of paying the ‘cab driver’ for the video and claimed that the alleged ‘cab driver’ was, in fact, a junior actor in Bollywood.