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‘Mischief managed’: After keeping him off-air for a month for spreading fake news, India Today brings back Rajdeep Sardesai

In January 2021, Sardesai was taken off-air by India Today group for 'two weeks' after he spread fake news about the death of rioter Navreet during the Republic Day riots.

After about a month of keeping him off air over spreading fake news about death of rioter Navneet during Republic Day riots, India Today has now reinstated Rajdeep Sardesai for the 9 PM show.

Announcing his return on India Today, Sardesai tweeted the agenda for the 9 PM segment. He planned to ‘decode’ the bail order for ‘climate activist’ Disha Ravi, accused of writing and editing propaganda material used by international protestor Greta Thunberg following the Republic Day riots. In his show, he also gave platform to TMC MP Mahua Moitra to accuse the Central government for using central agencies for ‘political vendetta’ as CBI grilled Mamata Banerjee’s nephew’s wife in coal scam.

Rajdeep Sardesai taken off air after spreading fake news

In January 2021, Sardesai was taken off-air by India Today group for ‘two weeks’ after he spread fake news about the death of rioter Navreet during the Republic Day riots. While Navreet had died after the tractor he was driving to break police barricades turned turtle, Sardesai put up a tweet claiming that he was shot at by police.

Rajdeep Sardesai’s now-deleted tweet

That’s not all. Sardesai even went on to make the claims live on air. He had said on air that he was shown the body of the farmer with bullet injury on the head.

However, the video footage released by Delhi Police show that he died after his tractor turned turtle while he tried to break police barricades.

Not just this, Rajdeep Sardesai had also caused a lot of embarrassment the channel just few days prior, when he had joined the fake controversy over the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. When the portrait was unveiled on 23rd January on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Netaji, a large number of opposition leaders and journalists had claimed that the portrait actually depicts actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, who had played the role of Bose in a movie. However, it was revealed that the portrait was based on a photograph of Bose, which was supplied by his grand-nephew. Rajdeep Sardesai was one of the journalists to spread the fake news on Twitter.

Soon after his suspension, rumours started making rounds that he had resigned instead. However, to save everyone the embarrassment, his resignation was believed to be put on hold after India Today head Aroon Poorie stepped in to ‘manage’ the exit at a more ‘honourable’ time in future.

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