Feeling dejected and angry after their ‘hate crime’ propaganda was busted, Newslaundry CEO Abhinandan Sekhri, a free-trial version of multi-talented ‘intellectual’ Yogendra Yadav, now seems to have resorted to making cheap slurs against journalist Swati Goel Sharma by calling her ‘hysterical’ for presenting facts.
Swarajya journalist Swati Goel Sharma had written a report based on ground reports regarding the alleged scuffle in Gurugram between two individuals, which was initially propped by the media as a hate crime despite the fact that there were no signs of communal angle whatsoever.
As many ‘liberal-secular’ media had already sat on a narrative to push their agenda to target the Hindus for alleged hate crime on Mohammad Barkat Alam in Gurugram, the timely reportage by Swati Goel Sharma in Swarajya had cleared some air regarding the true nature of the incident. Along with other media houses, Newslaundry, which is fighting for relevance and existence, had also used the opportunity to target the Hindu community by implying that the attack on Alam was an example of ‘hate crime’.
In fact, Newslaundry came up with its own ‘ground report‘ following Swarajya’s ground report to imply that the Swarajya report covering the alleged attack on Alam in the recent ‘topi’ incident at Gurugram had some discrepancies. In the report, which reads more like a ‘revenge report’, instead of countering Swarajya’s report on facts, tried to cast aspersions on Swati’s reportage.
Swarajya’s Swati Goel Sharma tore into Newslaundry’s biased reportage through a series of tweets.
This pompous piece on Gurugram Muslim man case says that “a report in Swarajya also insinuated that Khan might have tutored Alam during a visit to Delhi”.
I think it’s the NL reporter @sighyush who needs some lessons in what’s insinuation and what’s reportage
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) June 4, 2019
However, when Swati lashed out on Newslaundry’s biased reportage which cast aspersions on her credibility as a journalist, Sekhri thought such a reaction defending one’s reportage was ‘hysteria’.
? no, but the hysterical thread was fun.
— Abhinandan Sekhri (@AbhinandanSekhr) June 5, 2019
Swati Goel Sharma in her report had further highlighted the fact that how victim Alam had changed his statements by presenting two sets of stories – one to the police during filing the FIR where he had not mentioned about the group forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” slogans, while making new set of claims to the media in Delhi claiming that he was forced to raise Hindu religious slogans during the scuffle.
Even Gurugram Police Commissioner Mohammad Akil had held a press conference to clarify that many of Barkat’s allegations do not match with his statement in the FIR as well as with the footage obtained from CCTV cameras. The police had even hinted that the victim may have been tutored to change his statements pertaining to the incident.
As reported by Swarajya, Murtaza, one of the cousins of the victim had revealed that Haji Shahzad Khan of the controversial and communal group Muslim Ekta Manch had met Alam without his knowledge and took his cousin to Delhi. Interestingly, Murtaza had expressed his anguish over Khan using Alam to make videos to highlight the incident.
Perhaps people at Newslaundry wanted to hide this fact and hence took offence against the citing of Murtaza’s statements. In their report, they went on to term Murtaza statement against Haji Shahzad Khan as Swarajya’s ‘insinuation’.
Further, the Newslaundry reporter has used his creative discretion to term Murtaza statements as “poor recollection” of facts while dictating Swati Goel Sharma on the manner of reporting to be followed. Interestingly, the reporter at Newslaundry has selectively quoted Murtaza whenever it suited his agenda, but calls it as a “poor collection of facts” whenever it busts his propaganda.
As facts pertaining to the case began to emerge, outfits like Newslaundry seem to have got upset and begun to shoot the messenger by twisting ground reports. This was further pepped with Newslaundry’s CEO Abhinandan Sekhri brazening it out and indeed choosing to attack those who counter his outfit’s shenanigans.
Sekhri is a long-term aide of Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. He had co-founded the NGO ‘Public Cause Research Foundation’ which eventually evolved into ‘India Against Corruption’ movement that gave birth to AAP. He also co-founded Newslaundry, a self-declared media watchdog, which has till now deleted at least two of its own reports as they went against self-declared ‘liberal’ journalists.