A post is being shared on social media claiming that Himachal Pradesh Police had recently detained a Muslim man named Muhammed Ahmed for creating fake IDs on Facebook and making derogatory comments on Hindu holy books Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. This post claims it as a new strategy from the Congress party and calls it a ‘Cyber Jihad’. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Himachal Pradesh police recently detained a Muslim for creating fake accounts on Facebook and making derogatory comments on Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita.
Fact: In September 2017, Hamirpur Police of Uttar Pradesh state arrested a person named Muhammed Ahmed, on the charges of creating fake Facebook IDs and making derogatory comments on Hindu Goddesses and holy books Ramayana and Bhagavadgita. The accused was arrested at Maudaha police station in Hamirpur district, Uttar Pradesh. Also, the photo shared in the post is of a California resident Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani, who has nothing to do with this case filed in Hamirpur. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
When we searched to find the details of this arrest using relevant keywords, it was found out that the posts with the same photo and message have been circulating on social media at least since 2017. They can be seen here and here. On searching for more sources using the relevant keywords, we found that ‘Jagran’ news had published an article on 28 September 2017, reporting a similar case. This article reported that the Uttar Pradesh Crime Branch police had detained a Muslim man, accused of publishing obscene videos and inciting communal hatred by creating fake Facebook accounts posing himself as a Hindu.
According to the details reported in the article, Muhammed Ahmed, a resident of Husainganj village in Maudaha, used to publish obscene videos and provocative comments on Facebook in the name of Sundaram Singh, son of Amar Singh, the then former district coordinator of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Muhammed Ahmed reportedly made derogatory comments on Hindu Goddesses, holy texts Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. On the orders of Hamirpur SP, the crime branch team reportedly detained Muhammed Ahmed in Maudaha. On 27 September 2017, Hamirpur police through a tweet informed the public and media about the arrest. On observing the photo of the accused, it can be confirmed that the photo shared in the post shows a person unrelated with this case.
When we searched for the details of the person shown in the post, it is found that the post shared the Facebook photo of a California resident named Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani. Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani shared the same photo on his Facebook page on 22 April 2015.
To sum it up, an unrelated person’s photo is shared as that of Muhammed Ahmed, the accused who was arrested in 2017 in Uttar Pradesh on the charges of inciting communal hatred in the name of a Hindu.