Liberal media have fallen flat on the face yet again when they presented a cabinet minister’s PRO as the one who had shot at Asaduddin Owaisi’s car. After realizing this blunder, some of the media portals have apologized for the same. Lallantop from the India Today group and Live Hindustan were among the media houses that had published the fake reports.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was attacked on Thursday while returning from Meerut where he had been for election campaigning. As the news of arresting the alleged culprits emerged, some news portals hurried to reveal the identity of the accused with an eagerness to find the BJP connections they might have. The accused have been identified as Sachin Pandit and Shubham. Sachin Pandit lives in Badalpur area of greater Noida.
Rushing to publish the news on Sachin Pandit and his background and his alleged connections with the top BJP leaders including the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, some portals went on to publish the photographs of a different person with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, to show that the attacker is close with top BJP leaders. However, the photographs they use features Nitesh Singh Tomar, who happens to be the PRO of Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary, the cabinet minister for Panchayat Raj in the Uttar Pradesh government.
Nitesh Singh Tomar has tweeted the screenshots of the denigrating news reports published by these websites and has urged the Uttar Pradesh police to take action against the same. He has said “I am Nitesh Singh Tomar, PRO of cabinet minister Shri Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary. A malicious attempt is being made to malign my image by circulating my photo in the name of Sachin Hindu. I condemn those who do this in election times. UP Police, please take action against those who do this.”
मैं नितेश सिंह तोमर,कैबिनेट मंत्री श्री भूपेंद्र सिंह चौधरी जी का PRO हूं मेरी फोटो को सचिन हिंदू के नाम से प्रसारित कर मेरी छवि को खराब करने का कुत्सित प्रयास किया जा रहा है।चुनाव के समय ऐसा करने वालों की मैं भत्सर्ना करता हूँ।@Uppolice कृपया ऐसा करने वालो के खिलाफ कार्यवाही करे pic.twitter.com/ZBPQXLhXfx
— Nitesh Singh Tomar (@niteshabvp) February 4, 2022
With this tweet attached are the screenshots of various news websites including the Lallantop and the Live Hindustan.
After Nitesh Singh Tomar tweeted this and tagged UP police in his tweet, the Lallantop website edited the news report adding an apology in the end. The Lallantop has written in its apology “Sachin Pandit has shared a picture of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on his Facebook account. In this, CM Yogi is seen honouring a young man. Some users on social media have shared this picture by calling this young man Sachin Pandit. Whereas the young man seen in that picture is not Sachin Pandit. Even in this news of The Lallantop, the young man who was earlier seen with Yogi was told as Sachin Pandit, for which we are sorry.”
Reading such misleading news on these websites, journalists came forward to peddle their own anti-BJP agenda. Pankaj Chaturvedi had posted in his tweet “This is Sachin Hindu who shot at Owaisi’s vehicle right in front of the CCTV camera. Are you now getting why the same people have made this picture viral? Polarization is the only way left for them to return to power.”
However, Pankaj Chaturvedi has later deleted the tweet without any open apology.
As per the Facebook account of actual accused Sachin Hindu, he is also a BJP supporter, however, it is not confirmed whether he is a member of the party or not.
While it is true that Sachin Hindu had posted two photographs of Nitesh Singh Tomar with Yogi Adityanath, the argument that media houses mistook Tomar for Sachin for that reason is doubtful. Because, if the media houses found the photo on Sachin’s Facebook account, they also must have come across Sachin’s actual photos, and Sachin and Nitesh Tomar do not look similar to mistake the one for another. Moreover, photographs of Sachin after his arrest has also been published, and therefore it is not believable that the media houses mistakenly assumed Nitesh Tomar to be Sachin Hindu.