Case against three journalists for news report on plight of children at UP govt event

The videos were of a function held to mark the UP foundation day
Last Updated 27 January 2021, 10:16 IST

Three local journalists working with a news channel have been accused of public mischief and criminal intimidation in an FIR filed against them for airing a news report on school children allegedly exercising in biting cold conditions without winter wear at a government function here, a police official said.

The FIR lodged by a Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), an official who takes care of primary education in government schools, also accused the journalists of threatening him.

"The case was registered on Tuesday against three journalists--Mohit, Amit and Yasin on complaint off Basic Siksha Adhikari (BSA) Sunit Dutt at Akbarpur police station of Kanpur Dehat under IPC Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation)," Station House Officer (Akbarpur), Tulsiram Pandey, said.

He said the journalists aired the news report which alleged that several government school students "shivered in biting cold while government officials were busy with an event”. The BSA also alleged that the three journalists were not present at the event.

Officials concerned claimed the children were made to take off their winter wear only for the exercises.

The videos were of a function held to mark the UP foundation day on Sunday and was attended by state minister for technology, Ajit Pal Singh, several MLAs and government officials, including DM Kanpur Dehat Dinesh Chandra.

The video, after being aired by the journalists, also went viral on social media on Tuesday in which students were seen braving the biting cold, dressed in cotton shirts and knickers.

In the FIR, the BSA said the children wore woollens after the drill and the videos were shared with malafide intention.

He added that the journalists also hurt the sentiments of yoga teachers, who were insulted in the process.

District Magistrate, Kanpur Dehat, Chandra, told reporters, "It was painful that some journalists who were not present here spread such news. You all know that yoga cannot be performed wearing sweater, coat and pants. The students did a good performance and we all appreciated them."

One of the journalists, Amit Singh, said making the children do yoga in inadequate clothing in harsh winter conditions could not be justified and authorities could have been more careful.

Superintendent of Police (Kanpur Dehat), Keshav Kumar Choudhary, said that FIR has been registered against three local journalists for airing news reports by allegedly misrepresenting facts conducing to public mischief and threatening the BSA.

The instructions have been issued to the Investigation Officer to probe the charges in a fair manner, he said.

(Published 27 January 2021, 10:16 IST)

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