Journalist Pawan Jaiswal passes away
Freelance journalist Pawan Jaiswal, who had reported in 2019 on how a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district had fed students roti with salt for mid-day meal, has died due to cancer
Freelance journalist Pawan Jaiswal, who had reported in 2019 on how a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district had fed students roti with salt for the mid-day meal, has died due to cancer. It has come less than a month after he had appealed for funds for his cancer treatment.
A resident of Siyur, Jaiswal had shot the video of children being fed salt and chapati at the Siyur Primary School. After the video clip went viral on the internet, the district magistrate Anurag Patel had said that ‘such irregularities were happening because of the mismanagement of teachers’. The acting headmaster Murari Singh and nyay panchayat member had been suspended soon after.
However, a first information report (FIR) was lodged in August 2019 against Jaiswal and two others after Mirzapur’s Jamalpur block education officer, Prem Shankar Ram, registered a complaint based on Patel's report. Patel had conducted an enquiry following orders issued by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and submitted a report.
Jaiswal, who works for the local newspaper Jansandesh Times, was charged under sections 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code. Rajkumar Pal, the village headman’s representative who had tipped off the journalist about the poor quality of midday meals at the Siyur school, was arrested, booked for “maligning the administration’s reputation”.
The Editors Guild of India had issued a statement urging the Uttar Pradesh government to withdraw cases filed against journalist. The Guild said the government’s action was “shocking”. Jaiswal was later given a clean chit in the case.
Several journalists mourned Jaiswal’s death on social media: