Official page of BJP West Bengal uses Islamist terrorist picture for the killing in Assam

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Kolkata: A photoshopped version of the cover photo of author Paul Sutliff’s book – Civilization Jihad and the Myth of Moderate Islam has been posted on BJP West Bengal’s Facebook page. The post accompanying the photograph reads – Assamer niriho nagorikder upor kapuroshichito sontrashbadider hamla okhankar samajik poristhitie up bishrinkholota shrishti korar jonno baypok shodojontrer ashonka (The cowardly terrorist attack on the people of Assam seems to have an agenda of creating chaos in the state).

The post is about the recent killing of five Bengalis by terrorists in Tinsukia district of Assam. The police had suspected it to be the doing of the United Liberation Front of Assam or ULFA terrorists. However, ULFA has denied from having to being involved in the killing. Also, a survivor had naratted that the killers were speaking in Hindi – ULFA terrorists do not speak Hindi.

According to an NDTV report the police have identified all the victims as Bengalis. They had been randomly picked up by the terrorists at gunpoint from Tinsukhia’s Kherbari Bisonibari only to be shot dead along the bank of river Lohit.

The killing has caused a major political repercussion across India and especially in Bengal. Several Bengali organisations have called for a bandh in Assam to condemn the killing, while Bengal witnessed several people taking on to the streets to raise their voice against the killing.

The picture used in this particular post of BJP West Bengal, seems to be implying that the attack was perhaps by jihadis or Islamic terrorist. However, a Google reverse search revealed that the picture has been extensively used by several media organisation across the globe including the Economic Times for one of their report on Jaish-e-Mohammad and Masood Azhar.

Bengalis, who were already upset with the attack, took no time to smell the rat and took on to the social media to criticise the party. While sharing this photograph, Debraya Mukhopadhyay wrote: “The BJP’s West Bengal page has already started to visually portray the killers of Tinsukia (attack) as Muslims.”

While social and human rights activist Kavita Krishnan told eNewsroom that, both Assamese and Bengali speaking people are exposing and resisting such attempts by BJP to communalise the issue.

Another person criticising the BJP for making its followers believe that the attackers were Islamist terrorist as a divisive ploy was Shouvik Ghosh. He wrote: “Jara mereche tara abaar public sentiment kenar jonno post korechey. Tao Muslim terrorist er chobi diye, jaino Pakistan theke eshey mere gaiche. (Those who are responsible for the killing are now making these posts to gain public support by posting pictures of Muslim terrorists. As if they came from Pakistan to kill people here in Tinsukia.”

The page, interestingly, has made over three posts regarding the killing of Bengalis in Assam. It just mentioned that the attack was uncalled and that the Chief Minister of Assam would be doing the needful. The pictures used in each post had silhouettes of terrorists who can be easily passed off as Islamic terrorists.

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In recent times, people-centric journalism is being done mostly by independent digital media. These organizations run on public support. Founded in 2017, eNewsroom India has been doing meaningful stories for over four years now. We practice ‘Old School Journalism’ and focus on under-reported stories from Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan regularly. Our opinion pieces come from across the country.

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