Controversial AAP leader Ashutosh, Madison Square Garden fame journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and Arunodaya Mukherjee surrendered in ACJM-3 court in the case of airing a ‘fake’ sting operation in 2006. The fake sting operation had been aired against Dr. Agarwal in 2006 on news channels IBN7 and CNN-IBN. These news channels have been re-branded as News18 and CNN-News18 respectively. In the baseless and fake sting operation, he had been declared guilty of amputating limbs of healthy people in order to plunge them into begging. The journalists in question had started branding him as ‘shaitan doctor’ or devil doctor. Subsequent probes however made it clear that the sting operations were fake and the doctor’s innocence was proved.
Dr. Ajay Agarwal has been fighting to regain normalcy in life and reputation for the last 12 years. However, none of these eminent journalists have bothered to apologise despite the doctor having been proved innocent in subsequent probes. The doctor has further alleged that his life was ruined beyond repair by Rajdeep Sardesai, Bahl and Ashutosh who wanted to create a sensational story so that they could secure higher TRPs for their news channels. Doctor Agarwal has accused not only these three journalists but also the management of the channels that aired the fake sting operation. Apart from this, he has also made accused a reporter, Jamshed Khan who participated actively in framing the doctor in the fake sting operation. Speaking about Jamshed Khan, Dr. Ajay Agarwal refers to him as a blackmailer. The doctor alleges that it was Khan who had conducted the fake sting operation and it was aired by IBN7 and CNN-IBN which were newly launched at that time and were thus hungry for publicity and higher TRPs. Therefore, they continuously aired the fake and sensational story. This ruined Agarwal’s life and even led to an enquiry against him. He was an orthopedic surgeon at Gautam Budh Nagar district hospital at that time.
As reported by Dainik Jagran, after surrendering to the court, all the three accused journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai and Ashutosh, without any delay submitted their bail pleas and after the hearing, the court sanctioned their bail applications. Two other accused in the case Sanjay Roy Choudhary and Harsh Chawla had surrendered before the court, two backs back.
In his fight for justice Dr Agarwal has been fighting at various levels, from the Allahabad High court, Delhi High court to the Supreme Court. In his fight against eminent journalists, Dr. Ajay Agarwal had also approached other journalists also requesting them to intervene and ask the three journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai and Ashutosh, to tender an apology or at least air the clarification that he is innocent. But none of them proved to be of any help.
Media’s stoic silence on the airing of fake sting case by eminent journalists raises serious question over its credibility. It shows their hypocrisy, dishonesty and the unscrupulous desire to save their tribesmen at the cost of integrity of journalism. This case is the best example of what Mark Twain has said, “There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.” In this country we need strict laws to protect the people from the fake-news, sensationalism, TRP driven media. It is ruining the lives of people beyond repair. Dr. Ajay Agarwal is just one example of this. Media has now become a national curse.