Kashmiris Poke Fun At TV Channel For ‘Fake Story’


Srinagar: India’s one of the leading News Channel ‘India Today’ carried what it called an exclusive story on March 29, about Kashmir’s stone war. The ‘Exclusive story’ titled “Stone pelters on hire in Kashmir: India Today nails Valley’s insidious villains”, by its two investigative journalists, was telecast during the prime time slot by the channel’s leading anchor Rahul Kanwal.

But the ‘Exclusive Story’ which must have been done after rigorous hardwork and efforts by the talented investigative journalists was taken as a ‘comedy of errors’ by Kashmiris for various reasons. The story had many loopholes that seemed enough to make it look like another ‘fake story’,  that too at a time Indian TV Channels are losing their ‘credibility’ when it comes to reporting Kashmir- which continues to remain an apple of discord between India and Pakistan since 1947.

According to India Today, it interviewed five most wanted stone pelters, who are still wanted as they are evading arrest–Zakir Mohd Bhat, a wanted stone pelter and a petrol bomb maker in Baramulla. Zakir in the interview has admitted that he is being paid some Rs 7000 a month to keep the area on the boil. But he has refused to divulge names of his financers, citing a reason that if he revealed their name he might lose his bread and butter.

“It’s Rs 5,000-Rs 7,000 (a month) and clothes. Sometimes shoes as well,” said Bhat when asked whether he was paid to charge at security forces with stones.

Earlier, it was widely reported that demonitisation had ended stone pelting in Kashmir.

Similarly, other four stone pelters interviewed by India Today are Farooq Ahmed Lone (Baramulla), Wasim Ahmed Khan (Baramulla), Ibrahim Khan and Mushtaq Veeri from Baramulla.

The stone pelter who has been named as Mushtaq Veeri from Baramulla is another reason that questions the credibility of the interview. Veeri, as has been told, is not any caste, but it is a village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, some one hundred kilometers away from Baramulla. Most of the people who belong to the village Veeri suffix their names with their village name.

So far we know famous people from the village whose names end with Veeri.  The names are Abdul Rehman Veeri, senior PDP leader and a minister in present government, Bashir Ahmed Veeri, senior NC leader and legislator and the third one is Mushtaq Veeri, famous religious leader who is also Vice President Jamiat Ahlehadees.

Soon after the story was telecast, Kashmiri netizens didn’t lose any time to poke fun at India Today and its journalist Rahul Kanwal, posing some valid questions.

Noted Kashmiri journalist Muzamil Jaleel wrote;

“Is anybody watching India Today TV. It is hilarious”

Noted Kashmiri writer Z G Muhammad posted:

“I have stopped India Today Television- no for some of its anchors yelling irritating but for them too belligerent towards Kashmiris.”

Another noted Kashmiri journalist Zafar Mehraj explained it with some more sense of humour:

“I found it somewhat better than Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Cheshma as far as comedy was concerned.”

And the fun continued to be poked at Rahul Kanwal and his team of investigative journalists.

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However it’s not for the first time that Indian TV channels have misrepresented Kashmir.

SEE ALSO: India Today and the curious case of the stone-pelter’s confession

On July 14, India Today went live with a story that sought to provide a perspective on the unrest in Kashmir when civilian protests in the Valley had claimed close to 40 lives. India Today’s Executive Editor Gaurav Sawant, who was reporting from Kashmir, claimed to have an exclusive video of a stone pelter confessing that he was paid to pelt stones at the forces.

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As it later turned, the boy in that video had come out stating that what India Today showed was shot back in 2008, when he was 19.

Zee News: People in the Gurez region of Kashmir located along the Pakistan border and far from the Valley, took to the streets in 2016, when Kashmir was gripped in unrest, against the New Delhi-based news channel Zee News for “falsely portraying” their region as one that is opposed to the agitation in the state following the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani.


The trigger for their protest was a report on the news channel in which a group of people – described by residents as “contractors and porters, working with the army” – were interviewed and their ‘anti-protest’ views passed off as representative of the local population.

Source:  News Despatch

‘Operation Stone pelters’ exposed, turns ‘Fabricated’

A news story run by Delhi based English national news channel India Today which they claim is   exclusive story and sting of stone pelters, titled “Operation Stone Pelters’ was exposed by a young boy from Old Town Baramulla.

A young boy Javaid Ahmad released a video on social saying that a man, Muzamil Matoo from Baramulla called him to inform that some NGO has come to his home and they were helping pellet victims.

“I called some pellet victims and took them to Matoo’s home. Two persons were sitting there along with Matoo”, Muzamil Matoo introduced them as being from NGO.

“Then he told us that the two persons will ask you questions and we had to answer them. While asking the question, they began recording it in their mobile phones.” Javid said that they were forced and threaten to answer the questions which were against stone pelting.

The video has gone viral on social networking and has drawn severe criticism.

India’ Today’s Editor and Anchor Rahul Kanwal claims that stone pelters are hired in Kashmir. He says that the India Today nails Valley’s insidious villains. He telecasts the story on Kashmir stone pelters during the prime time slot, claiming that the channel has exposed the stone pelters.

Rahul claims that the stone pelters brigade is paid and enemies of India in Kashmir. In the story the channel shows few boys video-graphed secretly while saying they are being paid for stone pelting.

The story creates sensation and lot of debate in the Kashmir’s political scenario.  Many believe that this type of fabricated journalism is a stain on the so-called journalists. Adding, these fabricated stories to generate TRP’s only create hatred among people and must be dealt strictly under law. (PTK)


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