After the Hathras case was turned into a political circus, 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. After the OpIndia report, India Today seems to have gone into panic mode.
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 has admitted that the Hathras Tapes are indeed authentic.
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.
Interestingly, even in the leaked audio, Sandeep, the victim’s brother had told the reporter towards the end that he thinks his phone is being tapped, whereas, there was no evidence for the same. After Sandeep had raised the suspicion, Tanushree Pandey had not raised an alarm over the same and had continued to coax him to get a confessional statement from the father about alleged pressure being put on him.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came out in support of India Today and demanded that the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh resigns over the leaked audio.
It is interesting to note that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not responded to another audio that was leaked where someone, who is purported to be an aide from her team, was coaching the victim’s brother to stay put till Priyanka Gandhi Vadra gets there. In fact, in the audio conversation, it was also heard that this person, allegedly from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s team was coaching the victim’s father as to what is to be said in front of the cameras when Priyanka Gandhi reaches there to meet them.
The Leaked Audios: India Today, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the dock over their Hathras drama
Yesterday, a telephonic conversations between India Today journalist Tanushree Pandey and the brother of the deceased, Sandeep, had 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 full audio conversation can be heard here:
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.’”
In another conversation that we reported, 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.”
In a third 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.