India Today has reportedly taken its star TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai off air for two weeks and deducted a month’s salary for a tweet that the veteran journalist posted on the death of a farmer on Republic Day, reported The Wire.
Sardesai’s tweet had read, “One person, 45-year-old Navneet killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the ‘sacrifice’ will not go in vain.” He had ended his tweet with hashtag #groundzero.
Sardesai had later told India Today TV channel, “There’s a dead body, which was shown to me of an individual, who’s allegedly Navneet Singh, 24-year-old, who was reportedly driving one of those tractors, comes from western UP. Because he’s been shot in the head, suffered bullet injuries which has resulted in his death, people there want answers who shot Navneet.”
Sardesai had added that ‘in a sense, Navneet is going to be a symbol now’ of the farmers’ protest.
— R.P. Singh: ਆਰ ਪੀ ਸਿੰਘ National Spokesperson BJP (@rpsinghkhalsa) January 26, 2021
When contacted, Sardesai was not available for comment.
The farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day had become hugely violent with the death of a farmer. The Delhi Police had said that the farmer in question had died after his tractor overturned near ITO. Soon after the Delhi Police released a video of the tractor overturning, Sardesai had 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.”
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.? pic.twitter.com/JnuU05psgR
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 26, 2021
A group of protesters had climbed atop a pole near the Red Fort to hoist a religious flag. Scores of Delhi Police personnel too had sustained injuries with a dramatic video showing security forces personnel falling off a wall near the Red Fort in a bid to escape the brutal attack by a mob.