After being left red-faced over the Hathras Tapes reported by Opindia yesterday, India Today now seems to be taking offence at netizens questioning the shenanigans of the media house. After the release of the Hathras tapes where their journalist was heard tutoring the victim’s family, the channel released a statement where they admitted that the tape was authentic. Thereafter, as netizens started questioning their journalistic ethics, India Today started indiscriminately blocking the ones questioning them.
One Twitter user (@BefittingFacts) shared screenshots of being blocked by India Today after it schooled the media house for creating an imaginary story about their journalist’s or the victim’s brother’s phone being tapped. He said that a true journalist will never fear call tapping. He said that if the journalist is scared of “leaks” it means that he/she is hiding something or does not want the truth to be revealed.
According to the Twitter user, he was blocked right after he pointed out the hypocrisy of India Today in questioning under what law was the tapes being leaked after their phones had been tapped, while earlier, the same channel had gleefully reported the audiotapes of the conversation between Sushant Singh Rajput and his wealth managers.
Pic1- When SSR audio clip leaked.— Shash (@BefittingFacts) October 3, 2020
Pic2- When India Today's audio leaked. pic.twitter.com/UasH3n6Kci
Another Twitter user Alok Bhatt also took to the microblogging site to confirm that he too had been blocked by the media house.
India Today seems to be behaving like that arrogant child who starts throwing tantrums whenever he/she is caught lying. Many others also shared how India Today had blocked them after they questioned the channel over the Hathras tapes.
India Today admits authenticity of the Hathras Tape
India Today took to Twitter to release an “Important and Urgent” statement where they admitted the authenticity of the tapes. In their statement, India Today was hyperventilating after creating an imaginary story about their journalist’s or the victim’s brother’s phone being tapped. They demanded to know why and under what law were their phones being tapped.
It is worthy to note here that India Today is not aware of the source of this audio and the audio itself could have been leaked from any quarter. However, India Today has jumped to the conclusion of phone tapping.
Hathras Tapes exposes India Today and their journalist Tanushree Pandey
OpIndia had yesterday 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.
Before publishing the report, OpIndia had reached out to Tanushree Pandey and asked her for her comments on the tape, however, she had not responded to the query.
While on Television, members of the opposition parties were seen trying to shield India Today by claiming that the audiotape was fabricated, in their panic to defend themselves, India Today admitted that the Hathras Tapes are indeed authentic.
The leaked audio that put India Today and the Congress party in the dock
The leaked conversations of the Hathras Case revealed the manner in which politicians and the media have been trying to politicise the issue in order to settle scores with the BJP government in the state. In one of the audios, Tanushree Pandey, an India Today journalist, was attempting to incite the brother of the deceased with lies and emotional blackmail.
In the audio clip, Tanushree Pandey could 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.
In another conversation, an unidentified individual is heard telling Sandeep, the brother of the victim, to not leave his house because senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi would be visiting his home. In the conversation, the person could be heard telling Sandeep, “If anyone wishes to take you anywhere, you must not go, now Priyanka Gandhi will come to your house. Someone says you should go to Hathras, somewhere here, somewhere there, you must not go.”
The man continues, “Say that the police and the media are not allowing your relatives to come, that they have been kept for your protection or for Thakur’s. Tell them everything that has happened to you.” During the conversation, Sandeep tells the man that the SIT was on a visit and one ‘Sanjay bhaiya’, his father and two other people are sitting inside along with some Congress workers. The man further tells Sandeep, “Alright, don’t go anywhere. Now Priyanka Gandhi will come and tell her that pressure has been created on you and you want to create a video of that.”
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.