SRINAGAR: Journalist and author, Rana Ayyub has received death and rape threats on social media for speaking on Kashmir. It all started after the horrific picture of a toddler sitting on the corpse of his grandfather who was killed in Kashmir went viral.
Sharing the screenshots of the threats by a user named Pranay Bhowmik on her social media accounts, the author of the investigative book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover-Up, Ayyub said, “My timeline, my inbox is inundated with death and rape threats the last two days for speaking on Kashmir.”
One can see in the messages that Bhowmik has not only used extremely foul language but also issued a ‘rape threat’. He also hurled abuses at Kashmiris and Muslims.
In another screenshot, an account called ‘Hindu Rashtra’ asked Ayyub to recall Gauri Lankesh.
Lankesh, a journalist and activist critical of the right-wing and Hindu nationalists was shot dead outside her home in Bangalore in 2017.
Speaking to media, Ayyub said, “Every time I write or speak on Kashmir, the hate is unimaginable. This time however I think they are doing it brazenly. Earlier at least they used to cover their words, use a language that isn’t specific, but this time they are being specific and aren’t scared of anything.”
She also said, “I remember three days before Gauri died, she posted on my Facebook wall when I was receiving a lot of hate, telling me that I shouldn’t worry and that these people won’t do anything. Three days later she was killed so there is always a sense of fear that what if online hate will go offline.”
It all started on Wednesday when Ayyub tweeted on Wednesday, “When it comes to Kashmir, there are no humanists, just convenient nationalists.” She was talking in the context of the killing of civilian Bashir Ahmad Khan, who according to police was killed in the cross-firing on July 1, between militants and the CRPF but his family claimed that he was killed deliberately. After the killing of Khan, his grandson, a toddler, who was accompanying him in his vehicle, was kept on the corpse of Khan, and then pictures were clicked.
On Thursday again, Ayyub tweeted a quote of the deceased civilian’s wife blaming the CRPF for her husband’s death. “They killed him and then kept his three-year-old grandson on his body”, the wife of the killed man can be heard saying in the video. “The child’s clothes are soaked with his grandpa’s blood. He was not a militant. He was a petty employee.” #Kashmir
In another tweet she shared a story link with, “Since yesterday, the child has been saying that police killed his badey papa. The child is telling us the killers were men in uniform..Heartbreaking piece…”
In her thanksgiving tweet, she said, “In the last two days, I have witnessed overwhelming love and support on every platform in response to the hate that has come my way.
To each one of you, thank you for having my back and I promise to be your voice irrespective of the consequences.”
Reportedly the Navi Mumbai Police has taken the cognizance of the threats.