NDTV, controversy and fake news are often interchangeably used terms, and on Wednesday the ‘news’ channel once again gave an example that truthful journalism is not one of the niches of the channel. In the early hours of Wednesday, NDTV reported that an unruly mob had attacked a Tanishq store in Gandhidham, Gujarat over the controversial advertisement promoting ‘Love Jihad’ that was later pulled down by the brand. As soon as NDTV ran the falsified story, other leftist news portals like Indian Express picked the news story and started pushing it relentlessly to paint the central government in a bad light.
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 14, 2020
However, speaking to the media, Mayur Patil, the Superintendent of Police, East Kutch, dismissed such news reports that claimed an attack on the Tanishq store in Gandhidham. Referring to these news reports as fake news being circulated as part of propaganda, the senior police officer said that he himself visited the Tanishq store and added that no such attacks have taken place.
— Janak Dave (@dave_janak) October 14, 2020
The SP also clarified that although the store received some threat calls on the phone, the shop was not attacked by anybody. The SP further asked the public not to believe such fake news.
A Twitter user replied to NDTV’s tweet with an audio recording with the store manager, saying “this is fake news”. In the audio, the purported store manager of the store is telling the user that no attack on his store has happened.
This is fake news. I just spoke to the store manager at Tanishq Gandhidham. I hope @TanishqJewelry too issues a clarification on this. Are they hand in gloves with NDTV in this victim playing? pic.twitter.com/Gp1LrZo6jg
— THE SKIN DOCTOR (@theskindoctor13) October 14, 2020
After this, NDTV changed the report on its website to say that the store was “targetted”, but not attacked. The tweet however has not yet been pulled down. The revised report says the store was “reportedly targetted by a mob…”
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) October 14, 2020
Several BJP leaders took to twitter to target NDTV for its false news reporting and misrepresentations of the facts.
Fake News by NDTV abt attack on #tanishq store in Ghandigram.@MajorNeel spoke to store manager and they completely DENIED any attack.@ndtv क्यों फैलाते हो झूठ ? क्या चाहते हो आप लोग ? कहीं तो..कभी तो मर्यादा रखिये 🙏 pic.twitter.com/E5ZajSdvna
— Major Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) October 14, 2020
The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch by @ndtv is TOTALLY FAKE. No Surprises! #NDTV working overtime to malign BJP rule states to push their communal agendas and pushing blatant lies to confuse & scare people. #gujarat #Gandhidham #Tanish #TanishqAd
— Piyush Desai (@PiyushDesaiMLA) October 14, 2020
The likes of Swara Bhasker were made to delete their earlier tweets after the propaganda of NDTV was busted in broad daylight.
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) October 14, 2020
NDTV’s saviour when it peddles fake news, AltNews, had to reluctantly put out a report to state that NDTV had indeed reported false news. Instead of condemning the news reporting, the alleged ’fact-news checking’ website kept beating around the bush and tried to pin the blame on an imaginary mob.
The left-wing portals wanted to give the entire Tanishq ad-controversy a different angle by infusing violence and vandalism. However, social media and an alert Gujarat police ensured that the bubble of fake-news propagated by NDTV was busted before it could take any bigger shape.