Whodunit: Removing HT market copies to win ‘morning challenge’?
As the strongest and the largest read newspaper of Delhi NCR, HT is used to facing challenges from various quarters. But, over the last few days, HT has been confronting a peculiar challenge: readers complaining about copies not reaching them.delhi Updated: Sep 16, 2014 12:07 IST
As the strongest and the largest read newspaper of Delhi NCR, Hindustan Times (HT) is used to facing challenges from various quarters. But, over the last few days, HT has been confronting a peculiar challenge: readers complaining about copies not reaching them.
“For the last couple of days we have not been receiving the HT,” said Kriti Prakash of east Delhi’s Jhilmil Colony.
Prakash isn’t alone.
Mohd Hafeez, another HT reader, had a similar complaint.
“For some reason, the HT has not been delivered to our home over the last few days,” said Hafeez, who stays in central Delhi’s Tilak Marg.
HT’s offices have also started receiving calls from readers from across the national capital region (NCR), complaining about not receiving HT copies suddenly.
The HT’s circulation department, which began a trail from the press to the reader, stumbled upon a startling fact: a group of people were descending upon various distribution centers early in the morning, and buying up thousands of copies of HT, sometimes at more than double the cover price.
The fact that complaints were pouring in from areas located more than 50 km apart only gave rise to suspicion that there was a seemingly organised attempt to keep HT copies from reaching its readers.
Quick estimates showed that more than 100,000 HT copies were removed from the market forcing an FIR at the Ranjit Nagar Police Station. Some of these copies were even whisked away to Mumbai.
In one instance, acting on a tip-off and alerted by complaints, the CRPF confiscated several cartons containing 20,000 copies of HT, which had gone missing from Delhi, shortly after they were unloaded from the Rajdhani Express onto a hand-pulled cart in Mumbai.
It still remains a mystery why someone would be removing, stealing or buying HT copies other than the sole reason to ensure that regular readers miss copies of their favourite newspaper.
Strangely, in the same weekend during which thousands of HT copies disappeared from the market, a competition newspaper launched a so-called ‘Morning Challenge’.
It is to be seen whether ‘Morning Challenge’ becomes a challenge for HT readers.
In order to fight against this sabotage, and ensure every reader receives their copy, we have set up a Consumer helpline. If you, or anyone you know, is missing a copy of the Hindustan Times, please give a missed call to 092271 92271, and we shall get back to you and take appropriate steps to make sure you continue to get Delhi NCR’s No 1 paper.