A case has been filed in Kanpur’s Dehat District against three journalists of a local news channel for allegedly publishing a news report showing government school students exercising in their summer uniform – a half-sleeves shirt and shorts – in biting cold during an event last week.
In his police complaint, Sunil Dutt, the district Basic Education Officer, has alleged that the journalists were not present at the event, and they "misrepresented the 'yoga and exercise' programme that was conducted on Sunday to mark ‘UP Diwas’, the state's foundation day, reported NDTV.
The scribes were booked under Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC late Tuesday evening.
Visuals from the programme, which was also attended by the district magistrate, a state minister and local MLAs, showed the children standing in queues in an outdoor setting, and later performing yoga poses inside a hall.
However, as per the UP official’s complaint, the children were made to take off their woollens only for the exercises.
“It is well-known that yoga and physical exercises cannot be carried out in winter wear and requires loose clothing. Local education officials followed this, and made the children take off their winter clothing and wear loose and light clothes for the exercises and then all the children immediately put on their winter wear again,” the complaint reads.
According to NDTV, a student who reportedly took part in the event told reporters that a teacher asked them to change their dress for the exercises. "We went to the venue wearing trousers and a jacket and changed there," he said.
"I am very pained to see that some journalists, who were not even there, have published news that the children were shivering in the cold. You can see that a child who performs Yoga cannot do it wearing a sweater or a coat or a pant. These children have performed very well, I appreciate them. Those who have carried this report... we are looking at who has done it," Dehat district magistrate Dinesh Chandra Singh said on the day of the event.