28 Zee News staff test positive for COVID-19, Sudhir Chaudhary says they are ‘not perpetrators’ after allegations of being treated with contempt like ‘Tablighis’


28 staff working for Zee News have tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the channel’s editor Sudhir Chaudhary to make a desperate plea stating that his colleagues were not ‘perpetrators.’ Chaudhary has also reacted angrily to an allegation made by a journalist that Zee News staff members were treated with contempt when they moved to a building used by staff working for the media group’s English channel WION. The allegation made by journalist Aveek Sen said that one Zee News employee asked in frustration, ‘Are we Tablighis?’ This was after they were allegedly treated with contempt by colleagues from their own organisation.

Sudhir Chaudhary

Sudhir Chaudhary wrote on Twitter, “These are difficult times. 28 of my colleagues at @ZeeNews have tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully all of them are fine, mostly asymptomatic. I wish them a speedy recovery and salute their courage & professionalism. Sharing the official statement with you.”

Journalist Sen claimed in a tweet, “13 people in Zee News tested Corona positive. Staff moved to WION building where they were treated with contempt. One with Zee News reportedly responded ‘Are we Tablighis’?”

Reacting to the tweet by Sen, Chaudhary wrote on Twitter, “What is the point of this tweet beyond gossip mongering? Not only is this false, it’s malicious and exposes the kind of “journalist” the writer is. @ZeeNews team members are not perpetrators. They made the tough choice of reporting the pandemic despite the threat of infection.”

Zee News had faced criticism for linking coronavirus spread to Muslims. In his programme DNA broadcast on 10 April, Chaudhary had accused Muslims of stopping India’s coronavirus war. To support his claims, he had played the videos of mosques from Murshidabad in West Bengal and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh as well as visual from a Muslim locality in Delhi. All through his broadcast, he continued to demonise Muslims, blaming them to stop India’s war on coronavirus. He had also mocked people who said that the entire Muslim community could not be blamed for the mistakes of a few people.


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