After the heart-wrenching images of a 3-year-old boy squatting on the lifeless body of his grandfather went viral in the Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, the coverage of the incident in the mainstream Indian and Kashmiri media saw a large divergence. Both India and Kashmir have offered differing narratives of the event, with the former lionizing its forces for a rescue, whereas the latter castigates these same forces as actual perpetrators of the murder.
While the Indian media mostly blamed militants for the killing of the 65-year-old man, showing that government forces rescued the boy, the Kashmiri media and journalists reported the incident with a different narrative, bringing out versions of the deceased man’s family and questioning the circulation of photographs of the kid on the internet.
India’s position on the matter
When the incident came up, the Indian news channel NDTV reported that “Boy, 3, Survives J&K Terror Attack, Pics Show Him Near Grandfather’s Body.”
While blaming the militants for the attack, the news report read: “A three-year-old boy survived as his grandfather was killed in a terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town this morning. A CRPF jawan was also killed in the line of duty as terrorists opened fire on a patrol team.”
Also THE TIMES OF INDIA reported that militants killed the deceased man with the headline: “Heartbreaking: Child weeps over body of grandfather killed in cross-firing in Kashmir”.
Read more: A three-year-old boy sitting on the body of his dead grandfather in Kashmir breaks hearts
Another Indian channel, TTIMESNOWNEWS, reported: “J&K Police saved 3-year-old from getting hit by bullets during Sopore terror attack; grandfather killed.”
3year-old boy 😥survived as his grandfather was killed in a terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town yesterday
In heart-wrenching images the child is seen sitting on the blood-splattered body of his grandfather.#kashmirbleeds pic.twitter.com/c4hLL9vhJp
— Jawwad Khan (@JawwadKhanSuri) July 2, 2020
“In a heart-wrenching incident, a three-year-old child was rescued by the Jammu and Kashmir police, while his grandfather succumbed to the injuries after the terrorists attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrol party, near the car of the deceased man in which the child was sitting with him in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore,” the report read.
Kashmiri narrative on the incident
One of the leading newspapers in the region, Kashmir Reader reported: “Family disbelieves police claim, nephew says no bullet mark on car”.
The report said the deceased’s family members do not believe the police version that Bashir Khan was killed when militants opened fire on paramilitary CRPF and policemen at Sopore on Wednesday morning.
“Khan’s nephew, Aijaz, told Kashmir Reader, ‘I saw his bullet-strewn body. To see how he had died, I inspected his car, which had not even a single bullet mark. I even checked its bottom. I don’t know how he was taken out from the car, laid on the ground, and how the little kid was sitting on his dead body,’ according to the news report.
An online news portal, Kashmirwalla, also reported that a family member of the deceased said: “CRPF killed him, child kept on his body.”
The news report said that in one video the wife of the killed civilian has alleged that government forces placed the child on the civilian’s body, and that she said: “They killed him and then kept his three-year-old grandson on his body,” as she is consoled by mourning women at her house.
“The child’s clothes are soaked with his grandfather’s blood. He was not a militant. He was a petty employee,” the family said according to the report.
Read more: Kashmiri Lives Matter: Mehwish Hayat furious about toddler image
Greater Kashmir, one more leading newspaper of the Kashmir region reported: “Sopore shootout: Civilian shot dead in cold-blood, alleges family; police, CRPF deny charge”.
The report said that heart-rending images of the boy sitting on his grandfather’s body sparked outrage.
Both India and Kashmir’s differing narratives have been circulating in mainstream media, which has confused all onlookers as to which one of the two is telling the truth.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk
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