Allegations made by a Zee News journalist that the video footage, on the basis of which a sedition case was filed against JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, did not clearly show students shouting anti-India slogans may weaken the police’s case.
Vishwa Deepak, an output producer with the channel, resigned on Sunday, saying he was unhappy with the channel’s coverage of the Arvind Kejriwal government, JNU case and the controversy surrounding the intolerance row among other issues.
Police officials said a probe could be ordered if they receive a formal complaint from the journalist.
In his letter, Deepak alleged that the channel added the blurb – Pakistan Zindabad – on the screen even though the words were not clearly audible in the video.
“There was no ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in the clipping, so why did we show that clipping repeatedly? But we assumed it to be Pakistan Zindabad and carried it to spread unrest and mayhem. How did we assume that the voices audible... was that of Kanhaiya and his friends?” the letter said.
HT was the first to report on February 18 that the case against Kanhaiya appeared to be an afterthought. Though the area station house officer and his men has seen the protest, the police didn’t file any case against the students on February 9.
The case investigating officer in the FIR said, “The following day (February 10), a news item on Zee News showed that on the previous day the JNU students had shouted anti-India and Pakistan Zindabad slogans.” The officer put on record in the FIR that the SHO had written to the editor of Zee News and acquired the clips.
It was on the basis of this footage that police registered a case of sedition on February 11.
Zee News in a statement said Deepak was not involved in any of the stories related to the JNU row. “... He never discussed any issues with anybody in the organisation. His resignation is an internal matter…,” read a statement forwarded by its editor Sudhir Chaudhary.