Aligarh toddler's murder sends shockwaves across nation, misinformation spreads like wildfire on social media

The brutal murder of a two-and-a-half year old in Aligarh to recover a debt of merely Rs 10,000 has sent shockwaves across the country. Outraged netizens have demand justice for the victim, while many others used the medium to send thoughts and prayers to the family. Following intense media scrutiny, the police have taken two main accused into custody on the basis of statements made by the victim's family.

 Aligarh toddlers murder sends shockwaves across nation, misinformation spreads like wildfire on social media

Representational image. AFP

However, what is worrisome is the hate mongering and misinformation being spread around a brutal crime where the victim's family happens to be Hindu and the accused are Muslim. Some have been quick to compare the barbaric crime with the brutal rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in Kathua.

Thursday, when the news broke, the girl's name was trending on Twitter. Many on Twitter claimed  the toddler was raped before being murdered. It was also claimed that the victim’s arm was amputated, her eyes gouged out and acid poured on her body. However, the post mortem has not confirmed these claims.

The report mentioned that the soft tissue around eyes has been lost, but that the damage was caused by an individual before death or is due to animal attack or natural decomposition is unclear. The police also said that no trace of acid has been found on the body, as was being claimed by some.

The report is also inconclusive on rape because the body had putrefied by the time it was recovered by the police. The report stated that the girl's arm had been amputated, but whether that happened before death or after is unclear. Her mutilated body was dragged by stray dogs out of a dumping ground.

By Friday morning, the term Kathua too had started drawing a huge search volume even though there was no development in that case and some on Twitter attacking celebrities and Left-leaning intellectuals.

 

Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said the girl went missing from Tappal township on 31 May and police found her mutilated body in a garbage dump near her house on 2 June.

Police have arrested two persons — Zahid and Aslam — on the basis of a complaint by the victim's father.

Kulhari said that in view of the gravity of the crime, proceedings have begun to charge the duo under the stringent National Security Act. He said a process has also started to follow this case through a fast-track court. The Uttar Pradesh Police have also formed a six-member Special Investigation Team to complete the investigation in a timely manner.

The victim's father has demanded that other family members of the accused be arrested as the crime could not have been carried out without their knowledge. He threatened to start a fast unto death from tomorrow if no further arrests were made. The family had alleged that the police inaction cost their daughter her life.

According to Times Now, the girl was abducted by the accused on 30 May. Despite her parents approaching the police to register a missing persons complaint on the same day, an official complaint in this regard was lodged only 30 hours later, on 31 May. The police only swung in action after the badly decomposed and mutilated body was discovered and arrested two men suspected of having committed the crime over a financial dispute, he alleged.

"We searched for her, even made announcements on loudspeakers at public places like temples but could not find her. If the police had made the kind of efforts they are making now, she could have been saved," he told the news channel.

Security measures at Tappal township, 50 kilometers from the district headquarters, have been tightened as a precautionary step after tension mounted there on Wednesday. The police has squarely ruled out any communal angle for the crime and said that the only motive behind the act was personal enmity.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 17:42:04 IST