The Indian media’s incredible ability to lie through their teeth and peddle fake news only to amplify a certain narrative is not a subject of debate. However, often there are instances when those who are being lied about by the media are forced to call out the falsities. Such was the scene yesterday when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took to its official Twitter handle to debunk the lies of a certain media house, which was claiming that the central agency had given a clean chit to Bhim Army in an investigation it is conducting involving them and the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Sharing a News18 report on the same, the ED said, “This news is incorrect. In fact, ED is investigating financial links between PFI and Bhim Army on the basis of credible evidence recovered from senior PFI officials.” The News18 report, which has now been deleted, falsely stated, “the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said Friday it found no links between Chandrashekhar Azaad-led Bhim Army and the Popular Front of India (PFI). The agency also rubbished claims that Rs 100 crore of alleged foreign funding to incite violence through the Hathras case had been recovered.”
This news is incorrect. In fact ED is investigating financial links between PFI and Bhim Army on the basis of credible evidence recovered from senior PFI officials.https://t.co/rrK5x7NDz1
— ED (@dir_ed) November 20, 2020
While News18 was quick to take down the fake report after being called out by the ED, India Today’s report to the same effect, dated October 9, stands as is. The India Today report from more than a month ago had also falsely stated that the ED had clarified that there existed no links between the Chandrasekhar Azad-led Bhim Army and the rabidly Islamist Popular Front of India (PFI). The India Today fake report also added, “ED has also said that the talks of Rs 100 crore being recovered is untrue. The ED clarification comes after former UP DGP Brij Lal claimed that the Bhim Army and other outfits were trying to mislead the family of the Hathras alleged rape victim.”
India Today not taking down its said report is simply unprofessional. Despite it being made clear by the ED yesterday that senior PFI officials have given credible evidence to the agency which can establish financial links between the PFI and Bhim Army, India Today did not bother to do as much as issue a clarification, leave alone an apology, of what its report intended to state, or what the media house’s sources were.
Another alleged media publication called TheWire insisted in its report dated October 9 that ED had “quashed speculations of links between the PFI and Bhim Army.” It also called talk of Rs. 100 crores being pumped into instigating protests over the Hathras brutality as “untrue”. Links between the PFI and Bhim Army became a subject of a rigorous investigation after it was found that various vested interest groups, such as those being investigated by the ED, aimed at effectuating caste violence in Uttar Pradesh after the Hathras physical assault of a young Dalit girl.