Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has written to the Zee Media Corporation after its channel, Zee Hindustan aired a show on May 30 taht misinformed viewers about an alleged vaccine wastage incident by ANM (auxiliary nurse midwife), Niha Khan from Jamalpur Primary Health Centre in Aligarh, UP. The show alleged that Khan disposed of a few syringes filled with Covid-19 vaccine without administering them to the beneficiaries, when in reality that incident took place at a vaccination centre in Mucho Lote in Guayaquil, Ecuador!
CJP has mentioned in its letter that the show is about a breaking news story about one Niha Khan from Jamalpur Primary Health Centre in Aligarh, UP, who was booked for allegedly disposing 29 syringes filled with Covid-19 vaccine without administering them to the beneficiaries, and that during the entire show, a video repeatedly flashed, where a woman in a PPE kit is seen inserting the syringe into the man’s arms but not administering it.
CJP, in its letter to Zee Media Corporation, has referred to the fact-checked report by a news portal and fact checker Alt News where they have tracked the video all the way to Ecuador where an Ecuadorian national tweeted the video on April 25 and that the Ministry of Health of Ecuador even gave a press release in the matter accepting that the said incident in the video took place at a vaccination centre in Mucho Lote in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
CJP has called the news report “misplaced, misinformed and fake”, and has taken strong exception to the communal angle given throughout the show by flashing text like:
- Saazish ki sanak ya mazhabi junoon (Conspiracy or religious fanaticism?)
- Nurse ki toolkit me kitni jihadan? (How many “jihadis” in Nurse’s toolkit?)
- Yogi ki UP me Vaccine Jihad (Vaccine Jihad in Yogi’s UP)
- Vaccine jihad case me karyawahi (Investigation on in Vaccine jihad case)
The correspondent, during the show, questioned whether she did this on the bidding of some terrorist organisation. The report in most parts relies upon the video and replays it multiple times throughout the show without verifying the source of the said video. CJP states that the entire show tried to insinuate that this is part of a bigger conspiracy against the country and its people, and implications have been made time and again that there could be involvement of some terrorist organization; all based on a video that was shot in Ecuador.
CJP’s letter further reads, “It is the job of news media to inform people of news around them, without bias and prejudices. While the news was that a nurse was suspended for allegedly wasting vaccines, your channel, in its show has gone several steps further to allege a communal conspiracy and terrorist nexus, while showing a misinformed and false video. If the real intention of your channel was to report on the information at their disposal, the whole communal angle would have been avoided. Repeatedly using terms like “vaccine jihad” and flashing it on the screen throughout the show in big fonts, shows the malafide intentions of your channel and the host and exposes the propaganda of spreading hatred and vilifying the Muslim community at large.”
Following the guidelines of the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), CJP has first written to the broadcaster to remove the above-mentioned content from the Facebook page, other social media accounts, their own website, and issue a public apology for the misinformed reportage of communal nature.
In the event, that CJP does not receive a satisfactory response from Zee, the organisation will approach the appropriate authority of News Broadcasting Standards Authority for action.
The entire complaint dated June 4 may be read here: