The Hathras Case has sent shock-waves throughout the country. While a lot of details about the case is yet to be unearthed, politicians have already descended upon the village to overturn their falling fortunes. Simultaneously, a great deal of misinformation is also being spread by the mainstream media to further its own partisan agenda. Meanwhile, an SIT probe has been ordered into the matter.
Now, the telephonic conversations between one India Today journalist and the brother of the deceased, Sandeep, has gone viral which has been accessed by OpIndia. In the audio clip, Tanushree Pandey can be heard trying hard to convince Sandeep to send her a video statement of his father alleging that he was under immense pressure from the administration.
Throughout the conversation, Tanushree Pandey appears insistent on coaxing out a very specific statement from Sandeep while the latter remains non-committal on his statement and appears hesitant to toe the line that the journalist wants him to toe. He confirms the journalist’s allegations of pressure and on other occasions, he says that his father was not very clear on whether he was pressurised or not.
Tanushree Pandey tells Sandeep that she has learnt from somewhere, she does not specify where, that an attempt is being made to blame the death of the sister on her family. It does appear to be an incendiary piece of information that has not been reported anywhere in the media. This bit of false information appears entirely fake and seems to have been invented solely to take advantage of the family’s misery to peddle a particular political agenda.
The objective of the conversation is clearly to have Sandeep’s father on record claiming that he was pressurised to give a statement that he was satisfied with the investigations into the matter thus far. She says, “Sandeep, please do one thing for me. And I promise that I will not move from here until your family has received justice… Sandeep, make a video of your father where he says, ‘Yes, there was a lot of pressure on me to issue a statement that I am satisfied.. I want investigation because my daughter has died. And we were not even allowed to see her and she was buried.'”
She adds, “It will only take five minutes. Quickly make the video and sent it to me only.” During their conversations, Tanushree Pandey also tries to incite Sandeep against the SIT that has been formed, however, the brother makes it clear that the SIT was asking them relevant questions and they had left since then. During the whole conversation, the brother appears reluctant and hesitant while the journalist tells him that he should consider her his sister in a bid to convince him.
In another conversation that appears to be between villagers and Sandeep, the brother is advised that he should not accept Rs. 25 lakhs and reach a conclusion. He is told that he should even accept Rs. 50 lakh to reach a conclusion. The lady in that conversation says that some politician is saying that ‘faisla’ should not be reached. During this conversation, the names of one ‘Rahul’ and Manish Sisodia and Barkha Dutt also comes up.
This is not the first time that Tanushree Pandey has been involved with something such as this. During the protests against the CAA, she could be seen having a hush-hush conversation with a leftist student at JNU where she appeared to be ‘coaching’ the person. In the video, the journalist, quite clearly, appears to be having extensive discussions regarding what the events that transpired at the University and at one point, has a prolonged hush-hush discussion with the student that’s not audible to the ears.
In the video that we had accessed, it could be seen that the two of them were having a conversation off the record where an attempt is deliberately made to have a hush-hush conversation so that the content of it is not audible to the observers. Furthermore, in the video, it appears that it isn’t journalism that was happening but propaganda with active collusion between the journalist and the Vice-President of JNUSU.
We have reached out to Tanushree Pandey over the matter. She is yet to respond.