Many leading national dailies today ran the news of the Central Bureau of Investigation confirming Kuldeep Sengar as the perpetrator in the Unnao rape case. The news, seemingly first reported by Times of India then picked up by others, was proved to be a fake news.
The Times of India today ran the headline “CBI confirms rape charges against Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar”. The news report can be found here. The report stated that the CBI has confirmed that Kuldeep Sengar raped the victim in his house while his accomplice Shashi Singh stood guard. The report also stated that the CBI has alleged that the UP police had shielded the MLA and his accomplices in the FIR as well as the charge sheet.
India Today ran the report with the headline “CBI finds proof against Kuldeep Sengar, cops who helped him in Unnao rape case.
However the CBI today issued a press statement denying any such confirmation. The press statement said that the news reported by leading media outlets is false and the investigation in the case was still ongoing. The report also stated that the CBI has not given any update or confirmation in the three cases relating to violence/rape in Unnao and all such stories in the media are purely speculative.
The Unnao rape case was covered widely in the media with many national media outlets continuously alleging that the police and the government are shielding the rapists. Despite the alleged perpetrators being arrested and the state government providing all possible security to the victim and her family, the circle of misleading news does not seem to stop.
Sadly, news outlets are not showing the same kind of hurry to rectify their headlines and admit the mistake as they showed while reporting the fake news of CBI confirmation. At the time of this report being written, out of the four media outlets mentioned here, only India Today has run the correct news report with updates of the CBI statement. It is indeed amusing that Times Of India is now getting into the business of ‘fact-checking fake news makers’ when the daily itself has troubles keeping their facts straight.