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Top Media Lies of March 2016

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Big Lies:

1. Multiple media houses: Madrassa students beaten up for not saying “Bharat Mata ki Jai”

Numerous media houses reported that in Delhi, 3 students were beaten up for not saying Bharat Mata ki Jai. This was splashed across TV screens and newspapers alike, and made the new issue to be debated. This news however was based only on the version of the “victims” and paid no attention to what the cops had to say. The police claimed that the attack took place during a cricket game between two groups on Saturday evening but the madrassa students claimed they do not know their attackers and they were picked on when they were passing by a park. The police further said the students had said in their complaint that they were asked to chant “Jai Mata di” but later changed their version and claimed that they were asked to shout “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. A story in NewsX also confirmed the cricket angle. Eventually the boys withdrew their police complaint and said they did not want to pursue the matter. Deputy commissioner of police (Outer) Vikramjit Singh said, “Dilkash’s allegations were not supported by his two friends Ajmaal and Naeem. The two said that the five boys were playing cricket and the ball hit one of them after which they got into a scuffle.

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2. Multiple media houses: Drunk Delhi cop in Metro

This video, showing a “drunk” cop in an inebriated state in a Delhi metro was splashed all over TV channels last year. The cop, later identified as Salim PK was suspended after media and social media outrage. It is only now that the truth has come out. Salim, was in fact not drunk but having serious health issues. He had suffered a major stroke three years ago. There was a block in his brain leading to brain hemorrhage that left him with a paralysed left side, a contorted face along with memory loss, body weakness and difficulty in normal communication. He was repeatedly hospitalised and suffered occasional seizures. He was on medication with regular medical checkups. On the fateful evening of the video, he suffered a fresh bout of blackout and felt so dizzy that he had difficulty in even locating the doors of the train.

3. Janata Ka Reporter: Journalists harassed as right-wing group posts phone numbers of Rajdeep Sardesai, Anjana Om Kashyap on Facebook

Janata Ka Reporter claimed that a person called Chandan Pratihast, from a Right Wing Group, put up the contact numbers of above persons on Facebook, leading to their harassment. Janata Ka Reporter also said that although the man claimed to be President of Kota unit of AAP student body CYSS, it was a fake claim since the CYSS said that “they had no unit in Kota or anywhere in Rajasthan and the person is a Sangh member masquerading as AAP supporter”. But an investigation revealed that not only did CYSS Kota accounts exist on social media, but were also followed by prominent AAP followers. Further, a look at the social media posts of Chandan revealed that he was nowhere close to being a Right Wing group member, but was a hardcore AAP fan. Later, Janata ka Reporter back-tracked and claimed that AAP had now expelled Chandan from the party, and Chandan put up an excuse that his account was hacked. If he indeed was a “right wing” member, how was he part of AAP, from which he was expelled?

4. ABP News & PTI: 2 out of 7 videos from JNU found doctored

ABP News published a report, with PTI inputs which said that a Delhi Government instituted forensic probe had found that 2 videos were manipulated. The fact is, as per the fact finding report of the District Magistrate, 3 videos were found to be “doctored”.

5. India Today: Delhi Govt fact report on JNU incident gives a clean chit to Kanhaiya Kumar & Umar Khalid

The Delhi Govt report had in fact never given a clean chit to Umar Khalid. In fact the very first page of the report clearly said that”

Umar Khalid was visible in many videos. His support for the role of Kashmir and Afzal Guru is known and he was the organiser of the event. His role needs to be further investigated.

6. Janata Ka Reporter: Angry Smriti Irani ‘threatened’ to close down AMU, asked VC ‘who pays your salary’

Janata ka Reporter, based on a “to be published” piece in Milli Gazette, A fortnightly English language newspaper in India, aimed at a Muslim audience claimed the above, as from a “reliable source”. The “source” eventually turned out to be as unreliable as Janata Ka Reporter as the VC himself said he was not even present at the meeting where he was supposedly misbehaved with. Even as he said this, he did not mince words in his criticism of the HRD minister.

7. Reuters: BJP vows to strip Muslim immigrants of vote in Assam

In the above headline, and the accompanying piece, Reuters omitted just one word, but it changes the meaning of the entire sentence and the story. BJP, via its President Amit Shah had only said that they would take action against illegal infiltration and illegal Bangladesh migrants. This was echoed by BJP’s CM candidate in Assam as well.

8. Milli Gazette, later picked by all media: “We don’t recruit Muslims”: Modi govt’s Ayush Ministry

Firstly the headline is grossly misleading since it claims that the Ayush Ministry doesn’t recruit muslims,whereas on the site of the ministry itself one could see a number of muslim employees. Secondly, the AYUSH ministry denied the entire report and claimed that the part of the RTI reply, on which the entire report was based, was fake and “fabricated”, which was never issued by the ministry. The ministry also put out the actual RTI replies and filed a case against the RTI activist and journalist who had filed the report.

9. All media: Caught on camera – BJP MLA breaks leg of horse

We had written a separate report on this issue. While multiple media reports claimed that a BJP MLA had broken the horse’s leg, the truth was clear from the videos. The video based on which all media reports were framed showed the BJP MLA swinging a lathi in front of the horse. It was impossible to say whether the lathi hit the horse or not, but the sound suggested that the lathi was hitting the ground, which could have been done to scare away the horse. So how did a BJP MLA swinging a lathi infront of the horse manage to injure it on its hind legs? Further, the horse collapses much after the alleged hitting of the stick. A video from a different angle shows that, one of the protesters pulls something off a policeman riding the horse and in the commotion, the horse which was back-tracking trips over what seems to be a step and falls, while getting its leg stuck in a metal railing. This was confirmed later by multiple media reports.


Miscellaenous Lies

1. Newslaundry: Congress, AGP and AIUDF have not released a manifesto for Assam elections

We had a separate post on this. Te ill-informed post on somehow completely ignored glaring facts that Congress and AGP had released their manifestos, which were available online and were widely covered by the press.

2. The Statesman: Interview with Anil Kumble

The Statesman claimed to have interviewed Anil Kumble, but Kumble took to twitter to flatly deny this:

3. The Guardian: TERI was founded by Rajendra K Pachauri

In their article which tried to whitewash Pachauri’s alleged sexual misdemeanours, The Guardian claimed that he had founded TERI. In fact, TERI was founded by one Darbari Seth, and this information is freely available, including on TERI’s site.

4. Milli Gazette: Sharing fake doctored video which claimed ABVP had shouted “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans

The fake video which was edited to appear as if ABVP students were shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans, was shared by many AAP politicians including Kejriwal and also by many media persons. Milli Gazette had also shared the video from their official handle. We had written a separate report on how the video was proved to be fake.

5. All media: Bengal village teen bags top Nasa scholarship

After initially going gaga over this story where an girl from a village in Bengal was said to have won a Nasa scholarship for her views on something called the “Black Hole Theory”, media back-pedalled and revealed that in fact the entire story was fake and a hoax.

6. The Hindu: SBI sees decline in Jan Dhan accounts

The Hindu’s business section published a story with the above headline. There was also a tweet with the same caption which was later deleted. The story itself contradicted the headline. The first line of the article it self made it clear that in fact SBI had noticed a decline in zero balance Jan Dhan accounts, and not in Jan Dhan accounts as a whole.

7. Multiple media: SC Boy hacked to death by Girl’s upper caste Thevar community

Although the Thevar community has been classified under the “Most Backward Class” category, media chose to highlight it as an upper caste.

8. The Economic Times: NITI Aayog recommends extension of RTE to pre-primary level

While an ET article claimed the above, as explained here, Niti Aayog Member, Shri Bibek Debroy rubbished the news and suggested not to believe on everything one read in MSM


January 2016: 20 lies

February 2016: 22 Lies

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