As the ferocious second wave of the coronavirus outbreak continues its relentless march across the country, taking precious lives in its wake, some individuals and media portals have resorted to vulture journalism, in their bid to discredit the Modi government.
One such individual is the founder of the left-leaning media portal ThePrint, Shekhar Gupta, and his colleague Fatima Khan, who tried to exploit the death of an RSS worker to allege that the Modi government did not step in to help an RSS worker, who was infected with COVID-19 and had sought help on Twitter.
The article penned by Khan and published on Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint alleged that an RSS worker Amit Jaiswal, who was followed by PM Modi on Twitter was left in the lurch by the government in his battle against COVID-19. Citing his anguished family, who is still grieving the loss of their loved one, the article on ThePrint went on to assert that PM Modi and his government did not “intervene” to help one of their earnest supporters.
Twitter user Alok Bhatt busts propaganda busts ThePrint’s anti-Modi propaganda
This falsehood was decisively debunked by a Twitter user Alok Bhatt, a close associate of the deceased RSS worker Amit Jaiswal. Posting a string of tweets, Bhatt elaborated how the government and RSS workers went all out to help Amit, but unfortunately could not save his life.
In a scathing attack, Bhatt alleged that while Amit was killed by the coronavirus once, Shekhar Gupta and his portal ThePrint killed him again by sensationalising his death and trying to extract political mileage out of it. He accused ThePrint of running a one-sided story, without bothering to reconcile the facts or corroborate the claims with the hospital in which Amit was admitted.
The article on ThePrint alleges that Amit did not get a bed in Agra and therefore he had to get his mother admitted to a hospital in Mathura. Rubbishing this assertion, Bhatt revealed that Amit chose to admit his mother to the Niyati hospital because the hospital was one of his clients. Bhatt also has an audio recording of the conversation between Vikas Saraswat and Amit’s childhood friend Vipul Bansal to prove the claim.
He admitted his mother in Niyati & called Vipul @ 11pm & told him that he too is not feeling well; Vipul told him to come to Agra & offered to get a bed for him but Amit didnt & instead got himself admitted to Niyati only. Vipul called him again @ 2am & his sister confirmed it— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) May 12, 2021
After admitting his mother to the hospital, Bhatt says, Amit called his friend Vipul at 11 in the night and told him that he too is not feeling well. Vipul asked Amit to come down to Agra and offered to get a bed for him. However, Amit denied and instead got admitted to the Niyati hospital itself. Vipul called him again at 2 am and his sister, Sonu, confirmed that her brother is admitted to the same hospital.
Bhatt then added that Vipul could not speak to Amit as the latter’s phone was with his sister Sonu. After Sonu complained that the hospital was not briefing them, Vipul involved RSS Vibhag Pracharak as well as DM to ask the hospital to brief Amit’s family about his condition.
As Amit’s Jija wasn’t satisfied with the treatment, they got him discharged but as Amit’s saturation level fell to 50, he was readmitted into Niyati only. As Amit was to be brought to Agra, so @Vipul_ban had spoken to Agra CMO abt remdesivir as well.— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) May 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Amit’s brother-in-law was dissatisfied with the treatment and thought of shifting him to Agra. However, after he got Amit discharged, his oxygen saturation level perilously dropped to 50, following which he was admitted once again at the Niyati hospital. As Amit was to be brought to Agra, Vipul had already spoken to Agra CMO for arranging remdesivir injections.
After Amit was readmitted to the hospital, Bhatt contacted UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s office and sent them screenshots of Amit’s tweet. They swung into action and asked Bhatt to convey about meeting CMO.
However, by then Amit’s brother-in-law had also arranged the remdesivir injection and was given to both his mother as well as him. All through this, Amit was kept on ventilator support. The next day when urgent demand for plasma came up, RSS swayamsevak Rahul Kaushik arranged plasma for both mother and son.
But by then, Amit’s jija also arranged that injection and it was duly given to both his mother as well as him. All along this, Amit was on ventilator support after his readmission. Next day, demand for plasma was made & @kaushkrahul through @AjiHaaan arranged plasma for both— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) May 12, 2021
In addition, Vipul through Mathura DM also sent 10 cylinders of oxygen to Niyati hospital as they were running short of the lifesaving gas. Unfortunately, as Amit was critical and on ventilator support, his life could not be saved.
OpIndia contacted Vipul Bansal to seek more information on the revelations made by Alok Bhatt in his long Twitter thread. Vipul corroborated the claims, adding that the Sangh Parivar marshalled all the resources at its disposal to save Amit’s life. Vipul also mentioned that an RSS worker was deployed at the hospital round the clock to keep a check on Amit and his mother’s health and to provide any kind of assistance if needed.
There is another version too, where Jaiswal’s sister accepted that they did receive help from Jaiswal’s colleagues at the RSS. Sonu, who had just lost her brother, was perhaps emotionally drained and highly distressed. A person who has lost a loved one, is quite likely to say angry things in an emotional outburst. However, instead of giving a distressed family some space and letting them grieve the loss of a loved one, Gupta sends his vultures to settle political scores.
As can be seen, contrary to what ThePrint article would have us believe, the local RSS body, along with the Mathura and Agra administration, as well as the Yogi Adityanath government, steadfastly helped Amit in his fight against COVID-19. They arranged hospital, beds, oxygen, remdesivir injections, plasma etc. to assist Amit. Unfortunately, Amit’s health deteriorated and he could not be saved.
ThePrint, in their attempt to attack the Modi government, did not consider it important to corroborate the allegations made by the grieving family. Instead, the account of a grieving and traumatising family provided an opportunity to the left-leaning portal to peddle its anti-Modi propaganda. And it wasted no time in pouncing on the opportunity, showing callous disregard of journalistic ethics, and publishing unsubstantiated account to malign the Modi government.