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Newspaper Trolled for Using Russian President Vladimir Putin's Photo as Varun Hiremath

Vladimir Putin or Varun Hiremath? | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

Vladimir Putin or Varun Hiremath? | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

A newspaper accidentally used the photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a report about a Delhi court issuing a non-bailable warrant against rape accused Varun Hiremath.

In an embarrassing gaffe by one of India’s leading newspapers, a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin was published with the name ‘Varun Hiremath’. The latter is the name of a 28-year-old Mumbai-based journalist who is currently under investigation for rape accusations. The mix-up occurred on the page of the Indian Express newspaper’s April 6 edition. While running a story regarding Hiremath after the Delhi High Court issued a non-bailable warrant against the rape accused, the newspaper seems to have accidentally used Putin’s photo in the inset with Hiremath’s name.

The gaffe did not go unnoticed on social media with many joking that the newspaper had ‘putin’ the wrong photo.

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In case you were wondering Vladimir Putin really is, Putin is a former intelligence officer and prime minister who is presently the President of Russia since 2012.

Who is Varun Hiremath?

28-year-old Varun Hiremath is a Mumbai-based journalist working with an English channel. He was accused of raping a 22-year-old woman in a five-star hotel room in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri on February 20. The accused was absconding since February 23 after the victim filed an FIR with the police regarding the matter. In March, the Delhi High Court rejected the accused’s anticipatory bail plea on the grounds that consent was not implicit even if the accused had previously consensual sexual encounters with the victim.

According to the latest report by The Indian Express, a Delhi court has now issued a non-bailable warrant against Hiremath.

Following the gaffe, The Indian Express issued a statement on Twitter where it apologised for the mix-up.

The statement said that the misprint was caused due to a “technical error” at the printing stage. The paper also announced that an “audit of the processes” that led to the incident had also been initiated.

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first published:April 07, 2021, 12:09 IST