India Today’s News Director Rahul Kanwal on Monday took to Twitter to apologise for saying that Shiv Sena leaders had threatened Serum Institute of India’s Adar Poonawalla over Chinese coronavirus vaccines.
Kanwal said that the leader who allegedly threatened Adar Poonawalla was Raju Shetty of Swabhimani Shektari Sanghatana (SSS) and not Shiv Sena. Kanwal, on Sunday had said that he received clips directly from the CEO of the Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla of Shiv Sena hooligans hurling choicest of abuses at him outside his factory in Pune demanding early vaccines.
After Kanwal’s comment went viral, Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena issued a letter to the India Today Group, refuting the allegations levelled against them. Calling it “absolutely untrue” and “defamatory”, Sena demanded that the India Today group takes action against Rahul Kanwal.
Today in the @IndiaToday election coverage, their anchor, @rahulkanwal cooked up a lie to accuse the ShivSena of threatening Adar Poonawalla. This baseless piece of journalism is nothing but an attempt to malign the party. Our letter to India Today Group pic.twitter.com/mlRTqnHAuy— Shivsena Communication (@ShivsenaComms) May 2, 2021
“We also expect an express apology from him on the same platforms that he has voiced this fake news on,” the letter said.
As a result, Kanwal has now retracted his statement and regretted causing confusion and inconvenience. The anchor now claims that the hoodlums seen in the video sent to him belonged to a different political party and not the Shiv Sena.
However, the Shiv Sena supporters are not happy with Kanwal issuing an apology just on social media. A demand is being made to get him to apologize in a live show on his channel as the allegation made by him against the political party was also during a televised show.
Let us inform you, Adar Poonawalla has temporarily moved out of the country after facing threats from the most powerful men in India after Rahul Gandhi and other opposition members have constantly fear-mongered and demonised him. Poonawalla later informed that he will return to India soon and has had an ‘excellent meeting’ with partners and stakeholders in the UK.
Rahul Kanwal’s statement
While conversing with his colleague Rajdeep Sardesai while covering election results, the anchor got into a monologue describing the COVID-19 situation and temporary migration of Adar Poonawalla. It is then that Rahul Kanwal revealed, “…And I actually saw this. He (Adar Poonawalla) sent me some videos of some Shiv Sena locals showing up outside his factory, giving him the choicest of gaalis (abuses) and saying ‘humko pehle do’ (give us the vaccines first) and this is bizarre.”