Times Group’s Ahmedabad based tabloid Ahmedabad Mirror on Saturday published a ‘free-wheeling’ chat with Gujarat BJP President C R Paatil. The ‘interview’ was supposedly taken by Ahmedabad Mirror Editor Deepal Trivedi. Except, as it turns out, the interview never took place.
Such are the times we live in that now newspapers are giving fiction writers a run for their money.— C R Paatil (@CRPaatil) October 4, 2020
Surprised to see my interview published in @AhmedabadMirror as a free-wheeling chat.
Only issue: I never had this conversation 🙂 pic.twitter.com/qXvU6qEmNs
Taking to Twitter, Paatil called out the fictional ‘interview’ where the tabloid’s Congress-friendly Editor herself had taken the byline. The interview claimed that in 2022 state elections, as per Paatil, BJP will win at least 175 out of 182 seats and that even 182 seats should not come as a surprise.
Taking to Twitter, Trivedi defended the ‘interview’ by claiming that the said ‘interview’ took place on 1st September in Circuit House. However, the same was published only now on 3rd October.
She claimed that the ‘interview’ was conducted in Gujarati and English.
I am shocked to see #Gujarat #BJP President @CRPaatil lying. I met him specifically for this interview on September 1,2020 at Gandhinagar Circuit House. I spent 1.50 hours there. He said he does not know to speak English so the interview was conducted in Gujarati & English. https://t.co/Ov2DRA5Ai4— Deepal.Trivedi (@DeepalTrevedie) October 4, 2020
Trivedi further claimed that right after the above ‘interview’ Paatil tested positive for Chinese coronavirus.
Interestingly, one of the questions in the ‘interview’ published on 3rd October is about Paatil’s reaction to allegations of him being a ‘superspreader’ for the virus. Which does not quite fit into the timeline that the ‘interview’ was taken prior to him testing positive for coronavirus.
4 other people were present in his suite room when the interview was conducted.I had one question left but he said he had a video con(which he actually began) & I should call him up after 2- 3 days. He said he was leaving for N Gujarat. Soon after, he was infected with #COVID19 .— Deepal.Trivedi (@DeepalTrevedie) October 4, 2020
She even later shared a five second clip of the ‘interview’.
#Gujarat #BJP Prez @CRPaatil ji either is an amnesiac or a liar.He refuses to have ever met me or given an interview.He owes me an apology or has to face action.I will fight for #justice & #truth. I have all evidence to prove the interview. Here is a small glimpse.☺️#journalism pic.twitter.com/DUYrLH35gs— Deepal.Trivedi (@DeepalTrevedie) October 4, 2020
She tweeted that she wants Paatil to apologise for saying that Ahmedabad Mirror faked the interview.
Following her tweets, Paatil tweeted that the clip she has shared is from a month back and that when she had approached him for an interview on 2nd October, he had refused outrightly.
He said that the call for the new interview did not last for more than a minute.
The clip you have posted is from a month back. You’ve already published that conversation after twisting my words.— C R Paatil (@CRPaatil) October 4, 2020
Day before yesterday when you called me for an interview, I refused it outright and our call did not last more than a minute! @DeepalTrevedie https://t.co/W5jiWxHRs9
Deepal Trivedi history with fake news and wishing deaths
Ahead of 2017 Gujarat state elections, Trivedi was caught sharing morphed images of fake quotes by then BJP President Amit Shah on Patidar community. The atrocious statements put up by Deepal could have easily instigated disturbance within communities in a poll-bound state where rumours can easily take shape of violence. When confronted about her malicious tweet, Trivedi claimed that she tagged Hardik and Amit Shah to ‘clarify’ since the images appeared ‘dicey’. Similarly, in 2018, she was caught wishing death upon BJP leader Tajinder Bagga.
This is not the first time an Indian journalist has been accused of faking an interview. An often talked about case if that of an abusive troll masquerading as a journalist Swati Chaturvedi who was once accused of faking an interview with former Defence Minister George Fernandes. The ‘interview’ had mysteriously disappeared.
Note: The report has been updated with Ahmedabad Mirror Editor Deepal Trivedi’s replies on Twitter.