FIR against journalists for reporting on “shivering” school children at a UP Gov’t event

They had reported on how children were left outside in the cold, and for this the reporters were charged under sections dealing with public mischief and criminal intimidation!


A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against three journalists of a local news outlet in Kanpur for reporting on the plight of school children made to attend an official government function on Sunday. Their report had claimed that children were left shivering in the cold, wearing only cotton shirts and knickers, while government officials and dignitaries were busy celebrating the state’s Foundation Day on Sunday. 

Attendees included Ajit Pal Singh (State Minister of Technology), Dinesh Chandra (District Magistrate, Kanpur Dehat) and many other government officials and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA), reported the Indian Express.

Tulsiram Pandey, Station House Officer of Akbarpur Police Station told media persons that the FIR was filed on Tuesday by Sunil Dutt, a Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) against reporters Mohit, Amit and Yasin under section 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. The reporters had uploaded videos of the children on social media that went viral. But officials concerned claimed that the children had previously worn woolen clothes, but were made to take them off for exercise. 

The filing of the FIR against these journalists brings back memories of another incident where a reporter was targeted for exposing that children were just given rotis and salt for midday meals. The story was reported by Pawan Jaiswal in August 2019 and the images were from a school in Shiur in Mirzapur in UP. Jaiswal had filmed children of the school eating roti and salt. The video went viral on social media after the news agency ANI picked it up. In the damning video, children can be seen squatting on the floor, tearing off pieces of roti, dipping them in salt and eating them. The Block Development Officer had at that time filed a complaint against Jaiswal as well as a local village head, accusing them of attempting to defame the government.


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