Media Misreport on the Hunt for UP Gangster Guddu Muslim

The CCTV footage of a man in a white shirt who identified himself as Gangster Guddu Muslim, a suspect in the well-known Umesh Pal murder case, has been aired on numerous mainstream media networks.

In the 2005 slaying of former BSP MLA Raju Pal in Uttar Pradesh, attorney Umesh Pal was a key witness. In February 2023, he was assassinated in front of his Prayagraj residence in broad daylight while being accompanied by two armed police officers. One of the ten suspects in the case is Guddu Muslim, a close associate of the murdered mobster Atiq Ahmed who is accused of hatching the murderous scheme. He is fleeing.

The Incident: False Reporting by News Channels

Several news anchors stated that the CCTV film was taken in Odisha on April 11, 2023, while playing it. They added that Odisha was the last place Guddu Muslims was seen.

Media Misreport on hunt for UP Gangster Guddu Muslim
Media Misreport on hunt for UP Gangster Guddu Muslim

The anchor was heard saying, “Guddu Muslim was seen in a CCTV video, and was last seen in Bargarh district of Odhisa,” when the tape was broadcast on NDTV India as “exclusive CCTV footage.”

The video was carried live on television by ABP News and ABP Ganga, and a portion of the news item was published on Twitter with the title “New video of Guddu Muslim surfaced, the shooter was seen in Odisha.”

Media Misreport on hunt for UP Gangster Guddu Muslim
Media Misreport on hunt for UP Gangster Guddu Muslim

On its Twitter account, Aaj Tak posted a clip of its bulletin that featured the trending video. “This is the latest video of gangster Guddu Muslim,” the anchor Subhankar Mishra can be heard stating. A Hindi caption reading “New CCTV picture of notorious Guddu Muslim surfaced” was posted alongside the video.

Anand Narasimhan, the anchor for News18 India, also aired this clip and informed the public that Guddu Muslim was seen in it from his last known position in Odhisa. With the title “New video of Guddu Muslim, Guddu Muslim seen in Odisha, video of April 11, 2023, according to reports,” the same was posted on their social media platforms. Later, they removed the tweet.

The identical video was published by various other news organizations, including Punjab Kesari UP/UK, Zed Delhi-NCR-Haryana, News Outlook, Bharat 24, TV9 Bharatvarsh, News 18 Uttar Pradesh, and News Nation, with the assertion that Guddu Muslim had been seen in Odisha. You may view screenshots of their tweets in the gallery below:

Fact Check: Gangster Guddu Muslim

After the news and the video got viral, a guy by the name of Hamid Mohammad from the village of Sohela in the Bargarh district of Odisha came forward to claim his identity. He claimed that he was the individual seen on the security camera film and not Guddu Muslim, the wanted thug.

The head of The Times of India’s Bhubaneswar bureau, journalist Ashok Pradhan, tweeted a videotape of the man introducing himself. “My name is Sheikh Hamid Mohammad,” Hamid replies in Odia when asked about the popular video. We once came here for the Namaz. We arrived here. They identify me as a Guddu Muslim after taking my picture on camera. They are disseminating rumors… I learned about it after seeing it on television… My visage aired on TV and was depicted as that of a Guddu Muslim, according to several boys.

On the national highway that connects Raipur in Madhya Pradesh with Sambalpur in Odisha is the gram panchayat of Sohela. It is the final community along the interstate border in Odisha. There is a mosque directly on the national highway and a substantial Muslim population in the region.

Outrage and Backlash: Misidentification of Innocent Man

According to a local source who was informed of the proceedings, “A special task force (STF) of the UP police had come to Sohela in search of Guddu Muslim. They captured Raza Khan, a local goon who had been in contact with both Guddu Muslim’s driver and possibly the mobster as well, according to phone records. They escorted him to the mosque where they obtained the security camera footage. The UP STF provided the tape to the national media.

I’m Sheikh Hamid Mohammad from the Sohela district, Hamid can be heard stating in another video provided by India TV journalist Ankit Mishra. While Ramadan was in session, I was praying. A group of youngsters approached me and showed me a video that has gone viral, claiming to be of Guddu Muslim but actually being of me. Holding responsible all those (news outlets) that disseminated this false information to malign another individual is necessary.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two worried people’s faces:

In conclusion, some prominent news outlets misrepresented a piece of unrelated CCTV footage in their broadcasts by stating that the person in the video wanted gangster Guddu Muslim. Sheikh Hamid Mohammad, who is from Sohela in Western Odhisa’s Bargarh district, is the man in the video. When he entered a mosque to worship during the Ramadan month, he was seen on a CCTV camera.

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