Saturday, November 28, 2020

Shekhar Gupta’s The Print pulls down article attacking journalist after being called out, then pulls down apology tweet, apologises again: Here is what happened

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Shekhar Gupta's The Print pulls down article attacking journalist after being called out, then pulls down apology tweet and tweets again: Here is what happened

— Consider reading the article Shekhar Gupta’s The Print pulls down article attacking journalist after being called out, then pulls down apology tweet, apologises again: Here is what happened on OpIndia website —

The Print, run by the Editors Guild chief Shekhar Gupta has often been caught spreading fake news and motivated, malicious propaganda. After they got caught in yet another lie by Swarajya Magazine journalist Swati Goel Sharma, The Print decided to pull down its article quietly, then, it decided to issue an apology, then, it deleted the apology and tweeted an apology again.

In a strange attack, on the 1st of October, Shekhar Gupta run The Print published an opinion piece in which, it berated Swati Goel Sharma for overlooking the caste angle in the Hathras murder case. They further attacked her for “running a campaign” about Love Jihad on Twitter where she saw “Jihad” in “love”.

A lot of debate and political mudslinging has been happening around the Hathras case since the victim succumbed to her injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday morning. Hathras Police on Thursday said that “forced sexual intercourse” has not been established in the post-mortem report yet. The post mortem report had mentioned neck injury due to strangulation as the cause of death.

On Tuesday, the victim of an alleged gang-rape died in Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi. She was allegedly raped two weeks ago. The case attracted nationwide outrage when some reports claimed Hathras Police forcefully cremated the girl on Tuesday night without consent of the family members. The police had later stated that the victim’s father was present during the cremation.

Speaking to ANI, ADG Prashant Kumar has informed today that the forensic reports that were awaited have also been received now. ADG stated that the FSL report has found no sperm or semen in the samples collected from the victim’s body. He asserted that it concludes that there was no sexual assault, as was predicted from the post mortem report.

The Print article was headlined, “You can’t talk of Hathras rape without listing other rapes – thanks to IT cell whataboutery”.

The Print article

It went on to attack Sharma saying that while she could see “Jihad” in “love”, she could not see the “caste angle” after “4 upper caste men raped a Dalit woman”.

Here is what The Print wrote, based on the screenshots shared by the journalist on Twitter.

What The Print wrote about journalist Swati Goel Sharma
What The Print wrote about journalist Swati Goel Sharma
What The Print wrote about journalist Swati Goel Sharma
What The Print wrote about journalist Swati Goel Sharma

Swati Goel Sharma took to Twitter to call out the lies against her. She said, “Do your ill-informed writers have a habit of accusing people of denying caste and even being anti-dalit without checking their work? You did the same to Vashi Sharma of IIT-Kanpur and apologised for it when confronted. Your ill-read writer must provide proof of where I denied caste angle in Hathras or apologise, @ShekharGupta. Unless you approve of such hit-jobs yourself. I am not even going to other points yet”.

Interestingly, The Print failed to do its basic fact-check before publishing this article, which seems to be a recurring theme by the portal. Swati Goel Sharma is a ground reporter who has done several cases about the rights of Dalits and the crimes against them. She even runs an NGO alongside Dalit activist Sanjeev Newar or Agniveer.

After Swati Goel Sharma called out the lies, The Print quietly pulled down their article. The screenshot of the article being pulled down was tweeted by Sharma.

Realising that the cat was out of the bag, The Print took to Twitter, quoting Swati Goel Sharma and apologising for their mistake.

However, just like their article, they pulled down this tweet as well.

After about 10 minutes or so, The Print posted the apology again, however, this time, they ensured they did not quote the thread by Swati Goel Sharma. They perhaps realised that in doing so, they were bringing attention to their own shenanigans which might make it difficult to claim moral victory later for showing the “courage” to pull down the article ridden with lies.

The Print has a habit of peddling falsehoods in their articles, though one would expect a basic level of fact-checking by a portal that is run by the chief of the Editors Guild of India. However, that should come as no surprise since only in May, The Print had published an article that urged opposition parties to spread fake news to defeat PM Modi.

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