Home News Reports Times of India changes headline to 'protect' DU professor accused of helping Maoists

Times of India changes headline to ‘protect’ DU professor accused of helping Maoists

In an explosive expose of sorts, Podiyam Panda, a Maoist operative who has now surrendered to the authorities reportedly claimed in a press conference on Wednesday that he used to be the link between senior Maoist leaders and certain prominent activists and citizens of the country.

According to the report, Panda who is suspected to be involved in the recent Sukma attack has claimed that he used to drive activists from Delhi including Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar and prominent ‘activist’ Bela Bhatia deep into the forest of Sukma to meet top Maoist leaders.

These allegations have ruffled a lot of feathers as if indeed proven true, they would provide a boost to the ‘Urban Naxal’ theory which talks about various prominent intellectuals, influencers or activists in India being sympathetic to the Naxal cause and working towards spreading insurgency against the Indian state.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

According to the report the Sukma SP has claimed that:

Maoist Podiyam Panda was serving as the main link between the Inner cadre of Maoists and the urban network system in Delhi, Raipur and other cities

Also according to the SP, apart from being a contact he was also involved in active warfare against India and had participated in the recent Sukma incident and the Tadmetla attack of 2010 which had claimed the lives of 25 and 75 CRPF Jawans respectively.

This isn’t the first time the DU professor Nandini Sundar has been involved in the Naxal controversy. According to reports, she was named in an FIR lodged in November 2016 for the murder of a tribal who had been getting threats from Maoists for having complained against her and others for inciting tribals against the government. The wife of the murdered tribal had filed complaint demanding action against Sundar for her husband’s murder.

Sundar’s suspected connection and active involvement in Moaist operations had recently prompted the activist group Legal Rights Observatory to file a legal complaint against television journalist Rajdeep Sardesai for inviting her on his show to discuss the Sukma attack.

Even Bela Bhatia, who also has been named by Panda, is a very prominent activist who according to reports currently lives in Bastar. Bela, a PhD from Cambridge University was also reportedly on the panel of the now defunct Planning Commission to ironically look at challenges posed by Maoists to governance.

Both Bela Bhatia and Nandini Sundar are also related to prominent members of the society. Nandini is the wife of Siddharth Varadarajan, the former editor of The Hindu and the founding editor of left-leaning propaganda website The Wire. Bela Bhatia’s partner Jean Dreze had formerly been a member of the National Advisory Council, which was chaired by Sonia Gandhi.

What makes this whole story more intriguing is the fact that hours after publishing the report, Times of India chose to considerably tone down the headline of their article.

Initially it was published under the headline that gave prominence to the expose by the surrendered Maoist:

which was later changed to give prominence to the rebuttal by the accused DU professor:

Even though the heading was changed to indicate that Nandini Sundar had reacted to the story, during the compilation of this OpIndia.com report the content of the TOI article did not contain a single direct or indirect quote from Sundar.

Did the ‘influential’ members of the ‘civil’ society call up top honchos at Times of India warning them not to digress from the accepted narrative? After all, we know what happens to someone in media when they try to break away from the left-dominated narrative. Establishment media’s ganging up against Arnab Goswami is one such recent example. And the same media then cries about ‘freedom of expression’.

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Election 2019 Final Tally

Check the final seat tally and other post election coverage

Smriti Irani’s aide in Amethi shot dead, his son says some Congress workers were not happy with BJP’s ‘Vijay Yatra’

Smriti Irani had defeated Rahul Gandhi on his home turf of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of 55,120 votes

Left has failed, but the ‘Right’ does not understand Modi as well

With the left looking irrelevant, the right needs to get its act together.

Meerut: Communal tension after a video showing Muslim men beating up shopkeepers goes viral

A viral video where Muslim men are beating up a shopkeeper has triggered communal tensions in Meerut

Rajdeep Sardesai thinks Narendra Modi should thank Masood Azhar, among others, for BJP’s victory

As a long term Congress loyalist media person, Rajdeep Sardesai is yet to come to terms that Modi won a second term with thumping majority

A tribute to OpIndia’s fallen star

On 13th May 2019, Devandhu Rajput succumbed to cancer.

Rahul Gandhi upset that senior Congress leaders didn’t shout ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ enough, lashes out on them for party’s defeat

Amusingly, though Rahul Gandhi had indeed offered to resign, the CWC, that is chaired by himself, had unanimously rejected the resignation and asked him to reconstruct the party
NYT peddles Modi 2.0 as victory of India's most divisive leader

Dear New York Times, India has chosen Modi 2.0, deal with it

When India gives a thumping, unprecedented, overwhelming victory to a man who has made every single Indian feel proud of their nation and heritage, the NYT's heartburn is expected. 

Journalist wants to ‘crowdfund’ a parallel parliament so that Atishi Marlena can become an MP

The 'neutral media' meltdown seems to have reached its peak after AAP's Atishi Marlena came in third in East Delhi Lok Sabha seat
Rana Ayyub uses the 2015 murder of Akhlaq to peddle fear and victimhood for Muslims, ignores Hindus killed for their religion

PM Modi, I am a Charvaka Indian liberal, and this is my wish list

An atheist Indian liberal writes to PM Modi on what he wishes for in the next five years
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

165,201FansLike
143,744FollowersFollow
65,602SubscribersSubscribe
Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: