Fact Check: Alt News Report Presents False, Misleading Claims And Distorted Facts

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: February 23, 2023

A news report shared on the Facebook page of Alt News (archived link) has claimed that Dainik Jagran, through some of its reports, tried to mislead the readers by giving a communal colour to certain incidents. 

Alt News in its report has cited two incidents:

1. It has accused Dainik Jagran of giving a communal colour to floods in Assam citing news reports of other media houses.

2. Citing a report published on April 23, 2022, titled “गिरिडीह में पाकिस्‍तान जिंदाबाद के नारेबाजी मामले में मुखिया प्रत्‍याशी को भी भेजा गया जेल, 50-60 अज्ञात पर केस“, Alt News has accused Dainik Jagran of misreporting. Alt News has claimed that “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were not raised in Giridih, Jharkhand.

Vishvas News fact-checked these claims by Alt News and found that many of the conclusions in the Alt News report are contrary to facts and have been twisted and misconstrued as part of propaganda  against Dainik Jagran.

Alt News has shared a list of 17 reports published in Dainik Jagran between January 2021 and July 2022, claiming that these were misleading. Nine of these reports had already been rectified under Jagran’s Corrections Policy.

Alt News has said that it was “Unable to Verify” two news items on its list. One of these news items was corrected in Dainik Jagran’s Prayagraj edition on the very next day of its publication. 

In this fact-check, Vishvas News has examined the veracity of the second news item.

Alt News has claimed that six reports, despite being erroneous, were not corrected. After being pointed out by Alt News, three stories were rectified as per the Corrections Policy and established SOPs. However, no error was found in the other three reports. Veracity of one of these has been checked in this fact-check report.

First Claim By Alt News:

1. Allegations of giving “communal” colour to floods in Assam

Report published in Alt News on Feb 20, 2023

Citing reports of other media houses on the Assam floods, Alt News has cited Dainik Jagran’s July 2022 news report and accused it of giving a communal colour to the floods. Alt News reported that “Hindi media news organisation Dainik Jagran has not used the term ‘Flood Jehad’ but has tried to give a communal colour to the matter”. This is actually a misinterpretation of facts by Alt News.

In fact, Dainik Jagran’s report is not at all contrary to facts, nor is it an attempt to give a communal colour to the floods. This can be confirmed by the facts cited in the Jagran news report, which are mentioned below sequentially:

i. Four persons, arrested for breaching a dyke in Bethukandi, have been identified as Kabul Khan, Mithu Hussain Laskar, Nazir Hussain Laskar and Ripoon Khan.

ii. Assam Police IG Debraj Upadhyay said the reason behind breaching of the dyke or embankment is being ascertained.

iii. The Water Resources Department filed a police complaint in the matter on May 23, 2022. The department alleged a breach of an embankment by “unknown persons” in Bethukandi.

iv. The four men were arrested after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged vandalism as the cause for the floods and asked the authorities to take strict action.

v. The arrested men reportedly said they had indeed breached the embankment to divert water from the storm drain into the Barak river. Subsequently, water in the river rose and entered Silchar after heavy rainfall in June.

It is clear that in this case Dainik Jagran has only mentioned facts related to the developments and the action taken. 

Jagran’s report neither directly nor indirectly supports the claims of “Flood Jehad” in other published reports nor tries to give a communal colour to the matter. 

Second Claim By Alt News:

Misleading reporting by Dainik Jagran on “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans raised in Giridih, Jharkhand

Report published in Alt News on Feb 20, 2023

Citing a news report published in Dainik Jagran on April 23, 2022, titled “गिरिडीह में पाकिस्‍तान जिंदाबाद के नारेबाजी मामले में मुखिया प्रत्‍याशी को भी भेजा गया जेल, 50-60 अज्ञात पर केस”, Alt News in its report claimed that slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad” were not raised in Giridih*.

In our investigation, we found that it’s not Dainik Jagran’s report but Alt News’s claim that is contrary to facts and is an attempt to hide developments that ensued after “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised. A news report published in Dainik Jagran’s Giridih edition on April 27, 2022, which stated that “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised, is not mentioned by Alt News.

According to the April 27,2022, report in Dainik Jagran’s Giridih edition, defence advocate Prakash Sahai said in the court, “During the nomination-filing (for the village pradhan election), some people raised slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad”. However, those people were outsiders and the candidate Shakir was sitting in his vehicle. This is not a case of sedition or of hurting someone’s sentiments.”

This Jagran report also mentioned other submissions by the defence counsel which confirmed that “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised there. During the hearing, he said, “After the assassination of the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, some people in Chandigarh had raised slogans of ‘Hindustan Murdabad’ and ‘Khalistan Zindabad’. That case went to the Supreme Court which did not consider it as sedition. In such a situation, the mere raising of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans does not make it a case of sedition.”

Dainik Jagran said it stands by its report mentioning that “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised in Giridih, Jharkhand. After verifying the facts, Jagran reiterated that its report has neither misrepresented the facts nor has any attempt been made to mislead the readers.

*We would like to inform the readers that the Giridih matter is sub-judice. Our aim is not to influence the court proceedings in any manner.

(Vishvas News, a member of the International Fact-Checking Network or IFCN, is the dedicated fact-checking and news verification unit of Jagran New Media.)

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