The Wire on Saturday published an article insinuating that the protester who died during the Delhi tractor rally on Republic Day, had died of bullet injuries and not because of the injuries he sustained from the overturning of the tractor. The article further claims that the victim’s relatives spoke to the doctor who carried out the autopsy who claimed that while there was bullet injury, ‘his hands were tied’, thereby insinuating that the UP government is trying to coverup.
And while the Rampur District Magistrate clarified that all these statements are false, The Wire has stuck to its report. It has only updated the report while the headline still continues to be provocative.
The article titled “Autopsy Doctor Told Me He’d Seen the Bullet Injury But Can Do Nothing as His Hands are Tied” quoted the grandfather of the deceased to cast aspersions on the cause of the death of the protester and allege that the administration is hiding his real cause of the death.
The Wire report impugns the validity of the post mortem report released by a medical officer at the District Hospital, Rampur, after a 2 am autopsy on January 27, which concluded that the protester, Navreet Singh, had died because of “shock and haemorrhage as a result of antemortem head injury” which has also been consistent with the Delhi Police’s explanation.
However, the report published by Siddharth Varadarajan’s website quoted Hardeep Singh Dibdiba, the grandfather of the deceased, who said that a doctor had confided in him that the real cause of Singh’s death was a bullet injury.
“We were told by the doctor that they have clearly seen the bullet injury, and then we cremated his body peacefully. But we were cheated as the [post mortem] report that came out did not say that. The doctor even told me that even though he had seen the bullet injury, he can do nothing as his hands are tied,” The Wire quoted Hardeep Singh Dibdiba as saying.
Vikramjeet Singh, Navreet’s father, also raised suspicion over the autopsy report of his son’s death. Vikramjeet alleged that all those who saw Navreet’s body claimed that he died of a bullet injury. He also added that one of the doctors who did the post-mortem report allegedly confessed to him that Navreet died of a bullet injury but he could not do anything to mention the same in the postmortem report.
But the claim of doctors being railroaded to prepare a false autopsy report was refuted by the senior-most police officer quoted by The Wire. According to ADG Bareilly Avinash Chandra, the police had no reason whatsoever to suppress or distort such a document because the matter is of Delhi Police.
Besides, the report also added a video of the deceased to buttress the claims made by the family. Referring to the video, the family stated that the gash over Navreet’s ears was an exit wound of a bullet. But, Manoj Shukla, deputy CMO and doctor at the district hospital in Rampur where the post-mortem report was prepared, said this was not the case. Repudiating the claims of a bullet wound, Shukla told The Wire that it might be possible that something else might have hit his right ear or the leftist portal might have gotten the wrong document.
What is intriguing to note here is that despite the refusal of the Uttar Pradesh Police and the deputy CMO of the hospital where the autopsy was conducted expressly denying that Navreet died of a bullet injury, The Wire did not bother to mention the same in their headline. Instead, it went ahead with a misleading headline to raise aspersions on the authenticity of the autopsy report.
However, the District Magistrate, Rampur, shared a signed declaration of the three doctors who had carried out the autopsy that the above allegations were false.
We ardently request you to please let’s be sticking to facts and facts only. We hope our request will be sincerely taken up by you. Thank you.— DM Rampur (@DeoRampur) January 30, 2021
Here is the official declaration. pic.twitter.com/2dowcoMriM
The signed declaration states that none of the three doctors who were involved in the autopsy had spoken to any mediapersons or any other persons. The autopsy was video-recorded and the findings were given in sealed envelop to the officers.
Subsequently, The Wire has updated the article to include above information.
Hope you understand your story could cause law and order problem here. It has already caused tensed situation here. Responsibility?— DM Rampur (@DeoRampur) January 30, 2021
The DM further rebuked The Wire Founding Editor for irresponsible reportage and asked who would take responsibility for the law and order situation that could have happened because of such misleading reportage.
UP Police files FIR against Rajdeep Sardesai, Shashi Tharoor, Caravan Magazine for furthering lies and instigating violence
A raging controversy was kicked up after left-leaning liberals, including journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, alleged that the man who died in the tractor rally on Republic Day, died of bullet injuries. The rioter had died after a speeding tractor overturned near the ITO junction in central Delhi in a bid to run over the police personnel during the violence that marred the national capital.
UP Police had then lodged an FIR against several politicians and journalists for sharing fake news during the tractor rally in Delhi on 26th January. The FIR under section 154 of CrPC was lodged at the Noida sector 20 police station.
The FIR named Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, National Herald’s Senior consulting editor Mrinal Pandey, Quami Awaz editor Zafar Agha, Caravan magazine’s editor and founder Paresh Nath, Caravan editor Anant Nath and its executive editor Vinod K Jose, and one unnamed person.
All of them were booked for spreading the fake news that one protestor was shot dead by Delhi Police during the tractor rally on Republic Day, who had actually died due to an accident. Rajdeep Sardesai had tweeted the fake news on Twitter, and later had repeated the same on India Today, claiming that bullet injury was seen on the head of the deceased.
Shashi Tharoor and others named in the FIR had also circulated the fake news, which had instigated the protestors to indulge in violence.
Note: The article has been updated after The Wire updated its article.