Police complaint in India targets Wall Street Journal for stoking ‘communal tension’ & ‘defaming’ Hindus amid fatal Delhi riots

A police complaint has been filed in India accusing the Wall Street Journal of fueling sectarian hostility during recent unrest in Delhi and falsely reporting that a mob had shouted a Hindu slogan before stabbing a man to death.

The complaint was filed on Friday over a February 26 report in the Journal, which stated a gang of attackers chanted “Jai Shri Ram” – a Sanskrit expression meaning “Glory to Lord Rama,” sometimes used by Hindus as a greeting – as they murdered intelligence officer Ankit Sharma during days of riots in India’s capital city. The formal protest, filed with police in Delhi and Maharashtra, was first reported by Indian public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

While the Journal relayed the claim in a quote from Sharma’s brother, Ankur, he now insists the quotation is a fake, intended to smear his late sibling.

“I never gave such a statement to The Wall Street Journal,” Ankur told Prasar Bharati. “This is a ploy to defame my brother and my family. The Wall Street Journal is lying.”

Sparked over a controversial citizenship law passed in December, Delhi was gripped by riots for three days starting last Sunday, with intense clashes between rival protesters leaving 39 dead and more than 200 with injuries.

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Sharma’s body was later recovered from a canal in the Chand Bagh district of northeast Delhi, which was racked with the worst violence during the riots. His autopsy revealed he had been stabbed multiple times.

Though it remains unclear who is behind the complaint targeting the Journal, Sharma’s family has levied its own grievance against a local official of the Aam Aadmi Party – which governs the capital city – alleging he is to blame for the unrest. The official has since been sacked and removed from the party’s membership, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.

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