Recently, a number of videos have been shared widely on social media as attacks on Bihari labourers in Tamil Nadu. Alt News has already fact-checked five viral claims and found them to be false.
In the midst of this, the murder of Bihar resident Pawan Yadav in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, was mentioned by Dainik Bhaskar as a case of an attack on Bihari labourers in Tamil Nadu. In its Patna edition dated March 3, Dainik Bhaskar published a story covering Yadav's murder on its front page, describing it as an attack on a Bihari labourer in Tamil Nadu. The headline said that police were lying in claiming that it was a case of personal enmity. The report also mentioned the murder of Monu Das, another migrant from Jamui, in Tamil Nadu.
The Dainik Bhaskar report featured a conversation with the brother of Pawan Yadav, Neeraj Kumar, who also lived in Tirupur with his brother. It said that on February 19, a group of local unidentified criminals attacked Yadav with a sharp weapon and killed him. The report quoted Neeraj as saying that after postmortem was conducted, police asked him to cremate his brother there. He was also asked not to file a case back in Bihar. Hence, the relatives performed Pawan's last rites in Tamil Nadu itself.
Referring to another incident in the same report, it has been mentioned that the body of Monu, a migrant from Sikandra in Jamui, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his room Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. Regarding this incident, the Danik Bhaskar report says that Monu's brother and father alleged that he was killed and his body was later hanged.
This article has now been deleted from Dainik Bhaskar's website. (Archived link)
Times Now Navbharat also aired the statement of Neeraj Kumar, brother of Pawan Yadav, in a video report describing the attack on Bihari labourers in Tamil Nadu.
TV9 Bharatvarsh also made the same claim in its video report. Reporting on atrocities on labourers in Tamil Nadu, the video report said, “The labourers could not save their friend Pawan. He was attacked from behind.” The statement of Yadav's brother is also included in this report. Talking to the reporter, Pawan's brother Neeraj says, “The situation there is very bad. People are being killed wherever they are. (He speaks again after a cut) ... He was attacked from behind while he was washing clothes.”
Former MP and national president of Jan Adhikar Party Pappu Yadav also shared this news report. (Archived link)
बिहार के निर्वाचित जनप्रतिनिधि जनता के प्रतिनिधि हैं, बिहार के प्रवक्ता होते हैं, तमिलनाडु के डीजीपी के प्रवक्ता न बनें।बिहारी आवाम के हक़-हक़ूक़, मान-सम्मान, जान-माल की रक्षा करने का माद्दा हो तो पद पर रहें अन्यथा, इस्तीफ़ा दें। जमुई धधौर के पवन यादव की पत्नी को जवाब दो? pic.twitter.com/neAhE1YAgL — Pappu Yadav (@pappuyadavjapl) March 3, 2023
Alt News spoke to police on this issue. They told us that the reason behind Pawan Yadav's murder was a personal dispute. They explained that the accused, Upendra Dhari, was not from Tamil Nadu, but from Jharkhand. He used to live in a room next to the deceased. Police also shared with us the FIR copy of the incident registered on the basis of Neeraj Kumar's complaint. According to this FIR, Dhari suspected an inappropriate relationship between his wife and Yadav. Dhari would often fight with his wife and Yavad over this. On the night of February 19, Dhari attacked Yadav and killed him. (Readers can download the FIR copy in Tamil here)
Alt News also reached out to Pawan’s brother Neeraj. He also said that Jharkhand resident Upendra Dhari suspected that his wife and Pawan had been having an illicit relationship. Neeraj added that there was no relationship between the two in reality, but Dhari's suspicion led him to kill Pawan. In other words, the crime has no connection with the alleged attacks on Bihari labourers in Tamil Nadu.
In an interview with News4Nation too, Neeraj said that Jharkhand resident Upendra Dhari had killed Pawan Yadav. In this interview, another brother of Pawan, Baliraj, said the same thing --- that the accused in Yadav's murder was Upendra Dhari.
Tirupur DCP Abhishek Gupta also issued a statement in this regard. He clearly said that Pawan Yadav's murder was a case of mutual enmity. He added that the accused, Upendra Dhari, had been arrested and had confessed to his crime. He is currently under judicial custody.
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In this case, Alt News found a report in Navbharat Times dated February 26, stating that the body of Monu Das was found hanging from a ceiling fan. Dainik Bhaskar mentions that Das, a resident of Sikandra, was murdered. To gather more information related to this case, we spoke to the SP of Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu. He told us that Das's death was not a case of murder, but suicide. Police also sent us a detailed statement regarding the sequence of events.
While a number of media outlets mentioned the victim's name as Monu Das, in official documents his name is Monu Kumar.
Monu Kumar's elder brother Sonu issued a video statement claiming that his younger brother, Monu, had committed suicide. Monu did not open the door after his brother repeatedly knocked on it after coming back from work. When Sonu looked through the window, he saw him hanging with a towel. The door was locked from inside. He informed the landlord, after which police came and the body was sent for postmortem.
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Another brother of Monu, Tulsi Kumar, too, gave a statement saying that his brother, Monu, had committed suicide by using a towel as noose.
To sum it up, several print and electronic media outlets falsely linked the murder of Bihar resident Pawan Yadav and the suicide of Monu Das alias Monu Kumar in Tamil Nadu to the alleged attacks on Bihari labourers in Tamil Nadu. They did so without verification or looking into police records.