An FIR has been lodged against news channel NDTV for spreading fake news regarding a Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham being attacked by a ‘mob’ post the outrage against the brand’s ad. Sources indicate that the FIR has been filed under section 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.
Reportedly, the FIR has been filed by the Kutch (East) Police.
Breaking: #Gujarat's Kutch (East) police registers FIR against news channel NDTV for allegedly running fake news on attack on Tanishq showroom which was compelled by a couple of men to apologise for its advertisement @DeccanHerald— satish jha. (@satishjha) October 16, 2020
The purpose of the Section 153 A is to punish persons who indulge in wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion. It also aims to punish those who commit any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity.
The fake news by NDTV about Tanishq store in Gujarat being ‘attacked by a mob’, for which an FIR has now been filed
NDTV, on the 14th of October “broke the news” that a Tanishq showroom in Gujarat was ‘attacked’ and the manager was forced to issue an apology for the ad.
A few minutes later, NDTV put up a video wherein one of NDTV’s employees claimed that a ‘mob attack’ took place on 12th evening, the day social media users were angered with the advertisement.
Now, when one says that a showroom was mob attacked, the message one conveys is obviously that unbridled violence was unleashed upon the showroom and its employees and after the violence, they were forced to issue an apology.
Soon after, in fact, minutes later, the NDTV fake news was completely decimated. The manager of the store in a conversation with Dr Neel, a netizen, said that he had not been attacked by anyone. The police too confirmed that there was absolutely no “mob attack” or violence that took place at the Tanishq showroom. They said that they were asked to apologise and had received some threats, but there was absolutely no mob violence. In fact, even the store owner had come on record to say that their store was not attacked.
First, NDTV said the store was attacked. Then, it said it was mob attacked. Then, NDTV changed their story to say that the mob pasted an apology note on the store. And finally, they said that the store had received a threat call.
The aim of NDTV was rather simple – create a sectarian divide and flare up communal sentiments. You see, when there is news of a mob-attack, every side gets riled up and the chances of a communal flare-up go up exponentially. It is thus said that before posting news of any such “mob attack”, the news must be thoroughly verified as such fake news can be truly detrimental to law and order in that area and thus, an FIR against NDTV is the logical step in this entire saga where NDTV had paltry regard for the truth and spread dangerous fake news.
Home Minister of Gujarat had promised action against NDTV
Taking cognisance of the fake news alleging that a Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch, was attacked following the controversial ‘love jihad’ ad, the Home Minister of Gujarat, Pradipsinh Jadeja had asked authorities to register a case and initiate strict action against the fake news purveyors.
Jadeja took to Twitter on the 14th of October to assert that the fake news about an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham was a motivated attempt to disrupt the law and order and instigate violence in Gujarat.
“The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch by @ndtv is TOTALLY FAKE. This is a motivated attempt to adversely impact the law & order & incite violence in Gujarat. I have asked to register a case & take strict action against those who spread this fake news,” Jadeja had tweeted.