India Today takes Rajdeep Sardesai off air over fake news

Rahul M
·2-min read

Television news channel India Today, in a first of its kind action against a senior journalist, has taken its prime time anchor Rajdeep Sardesai off air for two weeks for having allegedly peddled misinformation, reported The Wire.

Sardesai’s one-month salary too has been deducted, it was reported.

Rajdeep
Rajdeep

On January 26, 2021, as the farmers’ protest in Delhi turned violent in which a protestor was also killed when his tractor overturned, Sardesai had claimed on live television, and also later in a tweet, that the Delhi Police had shot the farmer dead.

"One person, 24-year-old Navneet, was killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the ‘sacrifice’ will not go in vain,” he had tweeted.

On air, he had claimed that the dead protestor had been shot in the head and that the body had been shown to him.

However, the Delhi Police refuted the claim and proclaimed that the man had died because his tractor had overturned. The police also released a video in which a tractor can be seen going out of control and overturning.

After the video was made public, Sardesai deleted his tweet and retracted his earlier statement.

"While the farm protestors claim that the deceased Navneet Singh was shot at by Delhi Police while on a tractor, this video clearly shows that the tractor overturned while trying to break the police barricades. The farm protestors’ allegations don’t stand. Post mortem awaited," he said.

A host of netizens, including many Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, had taken to Twitter to criticise Sardesai and demanded his arrest for circulating fake news in the midst of an inflammatory situation.

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