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Gujarat police register FIR against NDTV for 'false reporting' on Tanishq store

Last Updated 16 October 2020, 07:37 IST

The Gujarat Police on Friday registered an FIR against news channel NDTV for its report on an 'attack on a Tanishq store by a mob' in Gandhidham, Kutch district for the jewellery brand's advertisement "Ekatvam" (oneness), "forcing" it to write an apology on October 14. The FIR is based on a complaint lodged by one of the men who allegedly forced the staffers to write this note of apology and display it on the front door of the store.

Hours later, Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja made a statement on Twitter saying that "The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch by @ndtv is TOTALLY FAKE. This is a motivated attempt to adversely impact the law & order & incite violence in Gujarat. I have asked to register a case & take strict action against those who spread this fake news. "


"An FIR has been registered against NDTV under section 153 (A) and section 505 of Indian Penal Code and we have started looking into the matter," Kutch (East) district superintendent of police Mayur Patil told DH over phone while confirming the development. He refused to divulge further information by stating that "investigation is on."

Read | Tanishq showroom in Gujarat forced to write apology over its alleged 'Love Jihad' ad

The FIR is based on a complaint filed by Ramesh Ahir alias Maitra who had approached the police on Thursday with a written application accusing the news channel of reporting "false news". When contacted, he told DH, "NDTV accused me of attacking and threatening the staff of the showroom which I never did. If you look at the video, which has gone viral, I am only requesting them with folded hands to apologise." When asked if he is associated with any organisations he claimed, "I am a small BJP worker, a simple businessman and a farmer. I will never encourage violence."

According to police sources, the FIR allegedly mentions that NDTV reported falsely of a "mob attack" but only two men entered the store while around four to five men waited outside the store. "Due to coronavirus, only two men including Ramesh entered the store. He raised his objection over the advertisement and asked them to write an apology. The staffers told him that an apology in English was already out in public but he insisted on writing an apology in Gujarati so that locals can understand. Since the staff didn't know Gujarati they asked Ramesh to write it for them. Ramesh wrote on a blank paper which was approved by the store manager and it was copied on a whiteboard which was put on display at the entrance of the store," sources said.

Titan-owned Tanishq, a jewellery brand, was under fire on social media for its 45-second video advertisement featuring a Muslim family celebrating a traditional baby shower of pregnant daughter-in-law. The brand was trolled by netizens and the advertisement was accused of "love-jihad," a term used to refer to an alleged venture by Muslims to convert Hindu girls in the name of love.

While Tanishq was being criticised, a video of Ramesh Ahir, a resident of Gandhidham, Kutch, surfaced on October 14 showing him allegedly forcing the staffers to write an apology. The showroom management followed the "instructions" and wrote an apology in Gujarati which read, "The campaign of Tanishq circulated in the media is shameful and Gandhidham Tanishq apologises to Samagra Kutch Jilla Hindu Samaj."

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(Published 16 October 2020, 06:58 IST)

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