India Today takes anchor Rajdeep Sardesai off air for 2 weeks for tweet during farmers’ tractor rally

Several BJP leaders had demanded that an FIR be filed against Sardesai or he be fired for spreading “fake news”

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai
Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai

NH Web Desk

Citing his on-air claim and tweets that Delhi Police had shot dead a farmer during the tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day, India Today television channel has taken senior anchor and consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai off the air for two weeks and deducted a month’s salary.

Sardesai is yet to comment on the issue but sources in the channel confirmed these developments, said a report carried by The Wire.

Sardesai had on January 26, said in a tweet, “One person, 45-year-old Navneet killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the ‘sacrifice’ will not go in vain.”

Delhi Police, however, said that the farmer had died when his tractor overturned, and released a video in which a tractor can be seen going out of control and overturning. There is still some speculation whether this happened if the farmer in question was struck by a tear gas canister.

Following this, Sardesai retracted his statement and tweeted: “While the farm protestors claim that the deceased Navneet Singh was shot at by Delhi police while on a tractor, this video clearly shows that the tractor overturned while trying to break the police barricades. The farm protestors’ allegations don’t stand. Post mortem awaited.”

In another tweet, he appreciated the police for showing “great restraint” at Red Fort and ITO.

Additionally, in his live coverage on the channel, soon after his tweet was posted, Sardesai said, “What we do know is that while the farm protesters that we met insist that the person who died named Navneet Singh was shot at, but the police has provided us with a video that shows very clearly that the tractor overturned.”

It is noteworthy that several BJP leaders had demanded that an FIR be filed against Sardesai or he be fired for spreading “fake news”. Kapil Mishra in a tweet, accused him of inciting attacks on the police and demanded his arrest while Amit Malviya called for his sacking.

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Published: 28 Jan 2021, 7:58 PM