TV anchor taken into custody for misquoting Rahul Gandhi in Udaipur murder

Rohit Ranjan. Photo: Twitter/Rohit Ranjan

A news anchor, Rohit Ranjan, was taken into custody on Tuesday for allegedly spreading falsehood by doctoring Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's comment in Kerala to appear as if it was a remark on the Udaipur tailor's murder.

When Chattisgarh cops landed at Rajan's home to take him into custody, the Uttar Pradesh police stepped in to take him away. The anchor had sent a tweet alleging that the Chattisgarh police had arrived to arrest him without informing the local police.

An FIR was also registered in Jaipur against the TV news anchor, BJP national spokesperson Rajyavardhan Rathore and others for allegedly doctoring the video on Saturday night.

The FIR was registered on a complaint lodged by local Congress leader Ram Singh at the Banpark police station under IPC sections 504 (intentional insult), 505 (criminal intimidation), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, etc.), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

The development came hours after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticised the channel for the same.

The complainant alleged that Zee News anchor Rohit Ranjan in his show aired a statement of Gandhi on the SFI violence on his Wayanad office and mischievously doctored it to make it seem like it was a comment on the heinous murder of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur.

He claimed that it was done by the media group in conspiracy with former Union minister Rathore, Major Surendra Poonia (retired) and Kamlesh Saini, who also shared the clip on Twitter to reap political advantage and trigger public sentiments.

"The anchor and the promoters of the TV channel were clearly aware that what Gandhi stated was for the youngsters in Wayanad and not the killers of Kanhaiya Lal," the complainant said in the FIR.

The channel, however, has issued an apology, with Ranjan saying, "Yesterday, in our show DNA, Rahul Gandhi's statement was taken in the wrong context by linking it to the Udaipur incident, it was a human error for which our team apologises."

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Gehlot criticised the channel for running the incorrect report.

"Gandhi had said that the children who did this (vandalised his office in Wayanad) they've acted in an irresponsible way. They are kids, forgive them. But the TV channel and the anchor ran that Rahul Gandhi was saying those who killed Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur were kids and should be forgiven," Gehlot said.

Gehlot was speaking at a meeting on the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project with party MLAs and public representatives of 13 districts at his residence.  

(With PTI inputs.)

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