An Annual Rape Fest in Assam? Now, how is that for a joke?
The original article went on to be shared on social media (gaining over 72000 likes and being shared over 231000 times) and was carried by many other websites too. Many netizens commented believing the story to be real.
It probably didn't help that the author of the article was listed as a Pulitzer Prize winner (another attempt at 'humour' by the site).
The National Report had also knocked off its disclaimer page: "National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental", which again wouldn't have helped matters.
So, despite the presence of characters like Baalkrishnan Tamil Nadu, who the article said had launched the festival in 43 BC by raping everyone in his village, many readers who landed up on the site missed the 'joke'.
It was not the first time the site had run a rape 'joke' with an Indian state as their target. They had already run a similar article on a rape festival in Punjab.
Devraj Upadhyay, the Superintendent of police of Assam Police's CID (Crime Investigation Department), told Hindustan Times that a probe had been ordered.
"We have taken up a suo moto case. It is a sensitive issue and we will take up the matter with the matter with the website," Upadhyay told the paper.
The CID's cyber crime cell will be in charge.