Eyeing wider audience in India, Saeed tweets in Hindi on JNU row

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2016 14:30 IST
Hafiz Saeed, chief of the Jamat-ud-Dawa, speaks to his supporters during a rally to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Reuters Photo)

Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed has used the row over the arrest of a JNU student for sedition to send out his first tweets in Hindi, a language few Pakistanis can read or write fluently.

In recent weeks, Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah terror group has ramped up its presence on social media and used the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University student Kanhaiya Kumar to repeatedly criticise the Indian government on the Kashmir issue.

The government unwittingly gave more ammunition to the JuD chief when Delhi Police and home minister Rajnath Singh used a tweet from a fake Twitter account to link the LeT to the protests at JNU.

Since then, Saeed has taken to Twitter, YouTube and the JuD’s revamped website to take a dig at the government. In his latest salvo, Saeed targeted the government in a series of tweets in Hindi, possibly to reach a wider audience in India.

In his first tweet in Hindi, Saeed contended the move to link him to the JNU row on the basis of a “fake email” reflected how the Indian government fooled people.

He said in another tweet that such allegations mirrored what he described as India’s “bad intentions” and “enmity towards Pakistan”. He claimed Pakistan’s ideology is being heard across India, including Kashmir.

In two tweets with the hashtag #JNUCrackDown, Saeed said India should leave Jammu and Kashmir and that Kashmiri youngsters were fighting for their “independence” on their own.

Over the last few years, the LeT and JuD have built up a strong social media team that is very active on Twitter and Facebook despite the group’s handles and accounts being shut down repeatedly.

Though most Pakistanis can understand spoken Hindi, the language is taught in only a handful of Pakistani institutions such as the Islamabad-based National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and University of the Punjab in Lahore. Hindi courses conducted by NUML are usually attended by officers from the military and spy agencies and diplomats.

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