The breaking story seemed nothing more than yet another attempt to defame Pakistan and denying indigenous Kashmiri struggle for freedom.
Indian media claimed the son of JuD chief had incited a crowd gathered in an unspecified location in Pakistan on Kashmir Day to kick off an armed struggle against India, and urged them to “be like Dawood”.
Like most of the news stories pertaining to IoK and the struggle of Kashmiri people, this one too fell far from reality.
Leading Indian news outlets including Times of India, Zee News and Asia News International reported in the beginning of this month that Talha Saeed – son of Hafiz Saeed – in a recently-surfaced video incited crowd at a Kashmir Day rally in Pakistan to go to war against India, like Mumbai underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim.
“Pakistan-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim may join jihadi forces against India, JeM [Jaish-e-Mohammad] chief Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha has reportedly hinted during a recent speech,” reported Zee News.
The Times of India wrote: “Talha is seen inciting a crowd to wage war against India using Dawood Ibrahim’s name.”
“We need to be very alert and vigilant now, especially because Dawood has also joined hands with JuD and jointly they will be conducting terrorist activities,” ANI quoted a ‘defence analyst’ as saying.
Interestingly, Times of India and India Today uploaded the videos with ‘proof’ of their claims. The footage showed a man leading slogans at a rally, asking participants if they wanted to become doctors, judges or policemen, which the crowd responded with a resounding ‘no’.
The same man, when asked the people, if they wanted to become like ‘Burhan’ and ‘Dawood’, they answered the call with ‘yes’.
It has now turned out that the actual video of the rally was uploaded on Youtube, on September 16, 2016, while Kashmir Day is celebrated every year on February 5. The video was also shot in Kulgam, IoK, according to the person who uploaded it.
Also the man leading slogans at the rally, who the Indian media claimed was the son of JuD chief, bore no resemblance to Talha Saeed.
The Indian media also twisted the fact about Dawood’s reference.
The man, referring to Kashmiri freedom fighters, named Burhan – Burhan Wani, an iconic pro-independence Kashmiri youth leader – whose killing by Indian forces in July, last year sparked months of protests in the occupied valley.
He was also seen naming a number of Kashmiri freedom fighters in the video. Dawood’s reference by the man in the video came with another freedom fighter, Qasim.
It is quite possible that he was referring to Dawood Sheikh and Abu Qasim, commanders of pro-independence groups, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba respectively.
But, an overwhelming majority of Indian media outlets misreported the story twisting all the facts to favour New Delhi’s narrative on Kashmir issue.
A couple of outlets, after having initially carrying the ‘breaking story’, have since taken it off their websites, which proves their misleading reportage.