Senior TV anchor and India Today’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai’s tweet about the death of a young farmer in police firing during the January 26 tractor rally backfired after his claim was denied by the Delhi Police.
Following the controversy, India Today has taken Sardesai off the air for two weeks and also deducted his one month’s salary, according to reports. Rajdeep Sardesai has, however, not commented on the issue till now.
After his claims, Delhi Polic released video footage was clearly showing a tractor reportedly being driven by Navneet Singh crashing into police barricades and overturning.
Soon after the video was released, the TV anchor withdrew his statement tweeting, “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.”
On January 26, farmers protesting against the three farm laws took out a tractor rally led by several farmers’ leaders including Rakesh Tikait, Darshan Pal and Gurnam Singh Chaduni. During the tractor march, clashes broke out between the police and the protesters and the Delhi Police claimed that more than 300 police personnel were injured.
The police later booked at least 37 farmer leaders in an FIR in connection with the violence during the tractor parade. Two farmers’ unions reportedly withdrew from the agitation because of the events that unfolded on Republic Day.