The unfortunate Hathras incident has converted the area surrounding the village where the alleged crime took place into a media tourist spot. Journalists from various mainstream news networks have been devising new techniques to use the incident as a platform to spiral their dipping TRPs. Social media platforms are full of such videos where these so-called journalists exhibit despicable conduct in what they want to project as a fight for justice.
In one such video shared by the journalist of a Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar herself, Pragya Mishra sits smack in between a field, hell-bent on meeting the victim’s kin. Without showing least bit of respect for the police authorities, the journalist provokes an official by asking him whether they would also burn her as they cremated Hathras victim’s body.
The lady police officer is seen requesting this particular journalist with folded hands to get up and not create a scene. Pragya Mishra, on the other hand, after provoking police officials by asking them if they would burn her too, takes to nauseating levels of moral grandstanding.
The aim while behaving in this manner is twofold – One, they want viewers to believe that journalists on the ground are the only ones pursuing justice for the victim and that all action taken by them is due to their relentless fight against a corrupt system hell-bent upon subverting the truth. Secondly, while giving that impression, they also want to catapult their own TRP which has been dwindling with remarkable speed recently.
In few other such videos dated October 2, an ABP News channel reporter, Pratima Mishra, in what can be called an award-winning performance, takes it upon herself to harass police personnel on duty. Shunning all journalistic ethics, Pratima Mishra’s screams and shouts at the so-called atrocities being meted out at her by the Uttar Pradesh police, while she only does her job, owing to which the police were forced to pack her in a vehicle and forcefully get her out of the village.
She laments that she is being forced to leave the village in a vehicle without being escorted by a lady officer.
#ABPKoMatRoko | ABP न्यूज़ ने पूछे सवाल तो यूपी पुलिस ने कैमरे पर की खुलेआम गुंडागर्दी— ABP News (@ABPNews) October 2, 2020
बिना डरे, बिना झुके, हाथरस में डटा रहा ABP न्यूज़@pratimamishra04 @awasthis #HathrasCase pic.twitter.com/8U9CDmGdfi
ABP News posted yet another video on the same day with a dramatic caption. It wrote that the Uttar Pradesh police tried to stop the satyagraha of ABP News for the daughter of Hathras, questioning who’s the Godse, who is stifling Gandhiji ideologies on his birth anniversary.
In another video, ABP News claimed that the Uttar Pradesh police manhandled and misbehaved with its reporter and the cameraman who were trying to meet the family of the victim.
‘Journalist’ Barkha Dutt had also posted pictures of how despite walking several km through vast fields, Uttar Pradesh police had caught her and her mojo team and placed them in a police van and deposited them back on the highway again. Pertinently these images were also shared on October 2.
After Police blocked media from #Hathras village @themojo_in team and I walked several kms through vast fields and managed to reach the village on foot, only to be caught by the police, put in the police van & deposited right on the highway again. We tried. More reports soon pic.twitter.com/YNzeVusejq— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 2, 2020
Section 144 imposed when these videos and pictures were shot
It is pertinent to note here that at the time when these videos and pictures were shot and the so-called journalists were ‘heckled’, Hathras was out of bounds for the media due to the Section 144 imposed considering the ongoing SIT investigation. The Uttar Pradesh police had put up barricades at about 2 km from the village on the main road, blocking off all access paths to the village.
While it is well within the media’s right to question the move by the Uttar Pradesh government to not allow the media into the village, these theatrics that has been displayed by the media serves nobody, and certainly not the quest to get victim for the family. What is worse is that after the SIT investigation was completed and the media was allowed into the village, all of these channels claim that it was because of their theatrics that the UP government had allowed to media in. The truth was, however, that the media was allowed because the SIT investigation had been completed.
Through it all, it becomes evident that none of these journalists or their channels were bothered about the truth were in part, interested in feeding a certain set narrative about the case and secondly, were interested in bolstering their falling TRP.
OpIndia reported leaked conversation between India Today journalist and Hathras victim’s brother
Since the day the Hathras incident has come to the fore, the mainstream media and the opposition parties, most notably the Congress party have been trying to exploit the incident to revive their drowning careers and mount an attack and settle scores with the Yogi Adityanath government in the state. Congress friendly media has also played an extremely vital role in spinning a web of lies and misinformation around the unfortunate death of the Hathras girl.
OpIndia had also reported a leaked conversation between India Today journalist and the Hathras victim’s brother where the journalist, Tanushree Pandey, was seen pleading with the victim’s brother to shoot and send a video of the father alleging that the UP administration was putting pressure on his.