India News

Senior Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai Taken Off Air for 2 Weeks, Salary Cut for Misreporting Farmer’s Death During Tractor Rally

India Today, the English news channel, on Thursday took its consulting editor and senior anchor Rajdeep Sardesai off air for two weeks and deducted a month’s salary of the journalist after he misreported facts and tweeted on his social media handle about a farmer being shot dead by the Delhi Police during the tractor rally on Tuesday.


Sardesai, in a tweet, had said, “One person, 45-year-old Navneet killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the ‘sacrifice’ will not go in vain.” The post now stands deleted.

While the Delhi police had maintained that the farmer died after his tractor overturned, they later released a video where the tractor overturned after it lost control. Soon after the video was released, Sardesai backed from his earlier claim and said in a tweet that the video “clearly” showed the overturning of tractor and farmers claim that the deceased farmer was shot by the police “do not stand”.

Farmers have been rebelling against the farm laws that the Centre introduced in September 2020, and have been protesting for several months now. They have been camped at the outskirts of New Delhi, protesting to withdraw the bills. Several rounds of talks have also been going on between the farmers and government.

On Tuesday, on the occasion of Republic Day, several farmers organised a tractor rally in the national capital that turned violent after clashes broke out between the police and protesters. According to a report by BBC, the rally, which was supposed to follow specific routes, later turned violent after the farmers strayed from the designated routes, broke into the Red Fort, and vandalised the area.

According to a report by The Wire, Sardesai, in his live coverage on Tuesday had said, “What we do know is that while the farm protesters that we met insist that the person who died named Navneet Singh was shot at, but the police has provided us with a video that shows very clearly that the tractor overturned.”

Several BJP leaders condemned his misreporting on social media.


Sardesai has not commented on the issue yet.