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Mirzapur DM's Bizarre Question: Why Was a Print Journalist Recording Video of ‘Salt-Roti’ Incident?

The video was taken by local journalist Pawan Jaiswal, who works for a Hindi newspaper, and was booked for criminal conspiracy more than a week after reporting the incident.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:September 4, 2019, 12:20 PM IST
Mirzapur DM's Bizarre Question: Why Was a Print Journalist Recording Video of ‘Salt-Roti’ Incident?
Screenshot of the incident.

Lucknow: Mirzapur District Magistrate Anurag Patel raised a bizarre question, doubting the intention of the journalist who shot a video of students eating salt and roti for the mid-day meal at a government primary school in Mirzapur.

The DM said, “The scribe who has been booked in the case and he belongs to print media. If he was from print media then why was he making video of the incident? Rather he should have clicked pictures if he really wanted to cover the news.”

The video was taken by local journalist Pawan Jaiswal, who works for Jansandesh, a Hindi newspaper.

More than a week after reporting the incident, Jaiswal was booked for criminal conspiracy. A case was also registered against two more people who had alerted him of the incident for “cooking up” the story and “putting forth wrong facts”. These include a representative of the Siyur village, from where the incident was reported.

On Monday, Jaiswal in a video message alleged that he was being used as a scapegoat by the district administration after the matter came to the notice of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

“The district administration, in a bid to save itself, blamed me for the entire episode and registered cases against me. This is a direct attack on journalism; I am being used as a scapegoat in the case by the administration,” he said.

According to the journalist, he had visited the school on August 22 and had informed the assistant Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Brijesh Kumar Singh. His first video, which depicts the students being served salt and roti, was shot at 12:07 pm.

He also stated that his seniors had informed the District Magistrate about the incident, who reached the spot to take action against those responsible.

Earlier, District Magistrate Anurag Patel had said that he was informed of the allegations of salt-roti being served to the students and had also suspended two people in the case.

Around 100 students of a government primary school in Mirzapur’s Siyur village were served an inadequate mid-day meal of salt and roti. Locals alleged that the school had regularly been serving the children a meal of salt and roti, and rice at times.

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