INDIA FAKE NEWS

FACT CHECK

A nurse was allegedly molested by volunteers at a medical centre run by the protestors.

OpIndia wrote a story on June 6 claiming that Another woman alleges rape at Tikri border, nurse says she was molested by volunteers at a medical centre run for the protesters.

This story alleges the second such incident at the Tikri border. Last month, the father of a 25-year-old woman from West Bengal filed an FIR alleging that his daughter was gang-raped at the protest site.

The woman had come to the border in April and her father came to know about the alleged rape when she was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. The woman died on 30 April. According to Hindustan Times, main accused Anil Malik admitted to sexually abusing her twice. Two other accused are absconding. The OpIndia story claims that less than a month after the alleged gang-rape, another case of alleged molestation and rape has come to light from the protest site.

The outlet based its story on a Twitter thread by Shivani Dhillon, who posted a screenshot of the woman detailing her ordeal on an Instagram post.

Soon after, BJP members including spokesperson Gaurav Goel used the hashtag #दुष्कर्म_हॉटस्पॉट_आन्दोलनजीवी to claim that the woman was raped and molested.

CNN News18 aired a special report on June 9 stating that the woman was molested but has not yet filed a police complaint.

FACT CHECK

Woman denies rape and molestation

Shivani Dhillon actually shared the woman’s Instagram post alleging that she was harassed at the Tikri border. However, she did not claim anywhere in her statement that she was raped or molested. Her Instagram post said she was given a room with female protesters at Pind California, a makeshift camp set up by US-based cardiologist Dr Swaman Singh, who is volunteering at the protest site. I had heard Dr. Singh’s views on vaccinations and seen videos of his work, and since I was passionate to create awareness about Covid and vaccinations amongst protestors sitting at Tikri Border, I decided to volunteer in his organization in April 21.

The woman claimed that two volunteers of Dr Singh harassed her on the third day at the border. He named these volunteers ‘S’ and ‘B’ in his post. The woman wrote on Instagram,

On the evening of my third day there, I was latching the door but there was a problem with it so S helped me with it. Post this, S started walking beside me down the corridor when another volunteer, let’s call him B, on seeing us together said ‘Ki khichadi pakk rahi hai donan ch?’ (What’s going on with you two?) indecently insinuating that romantically/sexually involved. we were

I took offence to it and asked him what he meant by it. He said in his devilish laugh ‘Kuch nhi, kuch nhi’ I thought S would clear his confusion but he was laughing too with B, totally enjoying that his name was getting associated with mine. I felt very insulted and decided to stop them before they dared say any more bullshit about my character. I held B by his ears and also lightly slapped him on his back (not too seriously as I was aware that I was the only girl atm there so afraid of retaliation if they tried). While doing it, I asked him if he would say the same for his sister too? Instead of apologizing, he went into denial mode. I tried reasoning but left when I understood that he felt no shame or guilt in what he said/did.

Unfortunately for me, I had forgotten sth (probably chunni, paath was going on in BG) and I had to go back to my room to fetch it which meant I had to take the help of S again in latching. He did help and while walking down the corridor, B again met us, and this time he looked at S only and started singing a suggestive Punjabi song to him. Both were also giggling and I felt extremely uncomfortable as I knew that song was to tease me. I asked him why was he doing that again to which he said that he was only talking to S and it was a ‘boys’ thing. I literally did textbook things (things we are taught to do when we are in a situation as these) telling him that I was like his elder sister, why he would say such things about me in such a degrading manner? But it fell on his deaf ears, and he kept repeating on top of his voice that it was banter between boys. No apology whatsoever of course.

So, I did the next textbook thing- I went to the nearest, oldest uncle in sight and told them about what had just happened. When he tried to resolve, these volunteers ganged up on him, them calling him names, the situation got so out of control that I had to defend uncle ji in front of them.

The next day the first thing I went to Dr. Singh and told him that I needed to talk to him about sth imp. We had a chat in the noon where I told him that his volunteers made me uncomfortable. To which his reaction was – I cannot take care of your safety. That he will leave me back to Singhu and will call me when the women doctors were here. That this wasn’t America etc

I asked him why I was asked to leave when it was me who had been wronged. Per him, I was there for 2-3 days only while those volunteers were there for 4-5 months, so how could he fire them?

Please notice that doctor saahib didn’t ask for any details on what had happened? Who were the volunteers that had misbehaved/harassed? What did I want from this? If I was ok? Na? Nada! Nil! He only wanted to get rid of me. He also told me that he will personally leave me to Singhu border as he and his team had a meeting there the next day.

So I waited the next day for Dr. Singh to leave me back to Singhu border, While still around those volunteers who had by now created a very intimidating and hostile environment for me. Screenshots of her post have been attached below

I felt extremely uncomfortable and kept asking Dr. Singh on call and whenever I saw him at the clinic as to when were we leaving for Singhu. In one of these short meetings, I tried discussing again with him about what had happened. But he showed no interest in knowing the details as if he was convinced that I was at the wrong. He instead looked me dead in my eyes and asked if I could bring new volunteers for him since I was so uncomfortable with the current ones. I could see the anger in his words. I told him that I could only tell him how his volunteers behaved with females and the rest was his call on what to do with them. He also kept parroting that it wasn’t America (so? have we Indians decided that women’s safety is a non-issue?)

We didn’t leave that day. It was one difficult night to pass. The next day, I decided to go back to my home, totally disheartened at what had happened. And I did leave after informing him that I was leaving for home. He again parroted how he would call me once female doctors were back etc, still not asking me the names of volunteers or details of what had happened.

She has sent a legal notice to News18 to report that she was molested at the protest site and her identity was exposed. The notice apologizes to the channel and also says, “Stop reporting content that violates my client’s right to privacy and remove all said content from all media including digital, print and social media and to clarify.” issue a corrigendum to it. True facts.”

She later also sent a legal notice to OpIndia.

Journalist Sandeep Singh also spoke to the woman and uploaded a video of her explaining what had happened.

A woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted at the Tikri border. OpIndia, TFI and BJP supporters falsely claimed that she was allegedly raped. The woman has clarified that there was no physical assault and that her Instagram post was only to raise awareness. She has sent legal notices to OpIndia and News18 for falsely equating her ordeal with the gang rape of the 25-year-old woman from West Bengal.

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