Last night, social media was abuzz with the breaking story that former doctor at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, Dr Kafeel Khan was “not a villain” anymore. These claims were based on a DNA story titled as below:
The story was used for political posturing by many. Liberal commentators, AAP propagandists, media personalities and others, united to use this story to make various claims. Some said that this was a virtual apology by the UP Government. Some asked the UP Government to take responsibility for the horrific tragedy. We had covered the reactions here.
We had also revealed that the above DNA story, mentioned how the “hero” Dr Khan, had still been charged under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide)and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC. Only the charges under Section 7/13 of Anti-Corruption Act, Section 66 of IT Act and Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act have been currently dropped, as per the Investigative officer Abhishek Singh, due to lack of evidence.
In such a case it was not sure why and how DNA had claimed that he was now a hero. Interestingly, the same DNA and the same reporter had also broken the original story in August this year, which had first glorified Dr Khan. As of today, since investigations are on, it is unfair to either say he was a hero or a villain.
Now, after our above story, DNA has realized their obvious blunder, and has now updated the original story. The new headline is now far more balanced:
The opening paragraph of the original story has now been deleted, which earlier read as below:
Amid the Gorakhpur tragedy, DNA had reported Dr Khan’s story who was hailed as a hero for saving children. He had rushed to private hospitals to get oxygen cylinders for patients admitted at BRD Hospital. Gaurav Tripathi, an eyewitness, “While other doctors gave up hope, Dr Khan managed the situation well by arranging oxygen cylinders from private nursing homes. He saved many lives by his efforts and presence of mind.” However, he was subsequently charged with corruption and private practice.
Inspite of all the above, DNA’s original tweet declaring him a hero, is still available on their social media handle, and is still being retweeted.
Apart from retweeting it, many users have created screenshots of the same and are heading from pillar to post demanding “apologies”. If DNA really wants to make amends, it should delete the tweet and all related social media posts, and make it clear to all their readers, that their earlier headline was grossly misleading, and has been changed to make it factual.
While DNA has back-tracked, other media houses have posted stories which again have one-dimensional headlines, which do not give the full picture:
It remains to be seen whether these news portals eventually go the DNA way, or stick to this one-sided headline.