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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: NDTV manipulates video clip, adds audio disturbances to the clip that was the earlier cropped

The practice to manipulate a media in the manner that NDTV did points towards deeply unethical practice by the media organisation to further a political agenda in an incident that is already volatile with 8 lives lost.

As the investigation, as well as the propaganda around Lakhimpur Kheri violence, intensifies, a new video of police interrogating an associate of former Congress MP’s nephew has emerged on social media. 

In the viral video, a police officer is seen asking the injured man his name, address and other details. The man reveals that he is a resident of Charbagh Lucknow and works with Ankit Das, nephew of Congress leader and former MP Akhilesh Das. 

As the propaganda peaked, several Congress-friendly journalists started sharing cropped videos trying to further their propaganda. In the video shared by several journalists including Rohini Singh, the man only speaks about Thar ‘running over’ the crowd and mowing people. The portion where he mentions he was in the Fortuner with the nephew of a Congress leader is cropped out. 

NDTV, however, took their propaganda to a whole different level.

Earlier, NDTV posted a report pertaining to the viral video. In its headline, NDTV insinuated that the man suggested the presence of the Union Minister’s son in the violence-affected area. 

NDTV in its report assumed that the man is referring to UP Minister’s son Ashish Mishra as ‘bhaiya.’ “The “Bhaiya” is seen (as) a reference to Ashish Mishra, Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son,” reads the report. This despite the man referred to Ankit Das as ‘bhaiya’ in the first half of the viral video.

Interestingly, while this report was shared on Twitter at 11:28 AM on the 6th of October, a couple of hours before that, at 9:26 AM, NDTV posted a video of their news segment where the anchor was talking about the viral video and the video itself was also aired.

In that video, NDTV added an audio disturbance in the video to shield the Congress leader and the nephew who were being named by the man being interrogated by the police.

At the 00:46 second mark, when the man in the video says that the nephew of a Congress leader and ex-MP was driving the Fortuner car, NDTV added audio disturbance so the name is not audible. While the ticker on the video says that the man “claims Fortuner belongs to the nephew of ex-Congress MP, Union Minister”, the sound in the video is beeped out where he names Ankit Das. In the video, NDTV had added audio disturbance to ensure that the name of the Congress leader’s nephew was not audible. This is the same video that had earlier been shared by journalists like Rohini Singh after the name of the Congress leader’s name being cropped from the video.

It is interesting to note that while NDTV mentioned the man taking Congress MP and his nephew’s name in the ticker, they added the audio manipulation so his name was not audible. This could simply be done because most people would be listening to the audio and not reading the fast-moving ticker, and therefore, would miss the reference completely.

NDTV tweet

To be clear, every media organisation has editorial freedom. It is often seen that media organisations decide to not cover a certain incident or cover it from a different angle because their editorial line makes them see an incident differently. However, manipulating media can’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered editorial freedom of a media organisation.

In this video, NDTV deliberately beeped out the names being taken by an injured man and an eye-witness. Their motivations could be that they want to help the Congress implicate Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, in order to target the Yogi government ahead of elections. However, the practice to manipulate a media in the manner that NDTV did points towards deeply unethical practice by the media organisation to further a political agenda in an incident that is already volatile with 8 lives lost.

Who is Ankit Das?

Ankit Das is said to be the nephew of former Congress MP Akhilesh Das who was the Minister of Steel from January 2006 till May 2008 in the Manmohan Singh UPA-I government. 

He was also the Mayor of Lucknow from May 1993 to November 1996. 

UP police on the look out for Ashish Mishra

Uttar Pradesh Police pasted a notice outside the resident of the Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri in UP, asking his son Ashish Mishra to appear before the police. Earlier, the UP police had named Ashish Mishra in the FIR filed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

The notice asks Mishra to appear at the crime branch office at the reserve police lines, Janpad Kheri at 10 am on October 8. The notice states that Ashish Mishra has been booked under sections 147, 148, 149, 279, 338, 304A, 302, 120B of the Indian Penal Code in the case where eight lives were lost. He has been asked to personally appear before the police to produce material, written, oral and electronic evidence in his defence.

What it says about NDTV and the Congress ecosystem

On October 3, a ‘farmer’ mob attacked a BJP convoy with stones and sticks. The windshield of one of the cars broke and the driver seemingly lost control, thereby running over the crowd. Two protestors are believed to have lost their lives. Subsequently, the mob took to violence and beat up the men from the convoy and killed BJP workers. As of now, it is reported about 8 people have lost their lives in the incident.

Ever since then, the Congress ecosystem has been trying to fan further violence by not only reaching Lakhimpur Kheri to completely whitewash the brutal lynching of 4 BJP workers and leaders but also to incite the protestors further to incite violence. The Congress ecosystem had also witnessed strife when Rakesh Tikait was seen in a press conference with the UP police when they were announcing compensation to the victims of violence and talking about an embargo on politicians visiting the spot, in order to maintain peace.

While the UP administration tried to control the violence, the narrative was politicised to the extent that Rakesh Tikait, self-proclaimed farmer leader, went on to say that the BJP leaders who had been lynched to death deserved no compensation since they were barbarians.

With the new video of an injured man naming the nephew of a Congress leader and ex-MP as the owner of the Fortuner (we still don’t know who owned the Thar or was driving it), the entire ecosystem tried to ensure that the name of the Congress leader does not surface in the media and not just that, they cropped the video so they could claim that the man was talking about Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra.

The fact is that in Lakhimpur Kheri, the protestors attacked the convoy and after losing control, the car mowed down 4 protestors. After that, the protestors lynched 4 BJP workers to death. Who was responsible for fanning the violence will only be apparent after a thorough investigation is done. The Congress ecosystem, however, is hell-bent on naming Ashish Mishra as the person driving the car and therefore, starting tweeting a cropped video and NDTV beeped out the name of Ankit Das, nephew of Congress leader.

Clearly, the Congress ecosystem is least interested in finding out who fanned the violence or who were involved in the lynching. They simply want to implicate BJP leader Ajay Mishra and his son Ashish Mishra because it would help them implicate the Yogi government ahead of the UP elections.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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