Multiple videos of Kanhaiya Kumar raising incendiary slogans unspool a mystery

NEW DELHI,ANURADHA RAMAN,DEVESH PANDEY: As it emerged that a video showing Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar raising incendiary slogans was allegedly a doctored one, larger questions are being asked of television channels and their decision to broadcast it without verifying the content.

JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

At last count, four videos are in circulation. The News Broadcasting Authority of India, headed by retired judge K.T. Raveendran, says its members would look into the matter and if necessary, take action.

An FIR registered by the Delhi Police on February 11 says the Zee News channel broadcast a video on February 10 showing some JNU students raising anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. However, the FIR nowhere mentions Kanhaiya’s involvement. Later, the Delhi Police, in a status report to the Home Ministry, accused the activists of the Democratic Students’ Front, the All India Students’ Federation, of which Kanhaiya is a member, the Students’ Federation of India and the All India Students Union of being part of the gathering where seditious slogans were raised.

A week later, on February 17, in another channel, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra showed a video playing on his iPad, as proof of anti-India slogans raised on the JNU campus.

Three more channels aired the video.

Times Now clarified that it had aired the video and Mr. Patra’s claim and had added caveats about the need for verifying the contents of the video. “Arnab Goswami [anchor] is heard telling Sambit that the video needs to be verified,” channel sources said.

The emergence of a new video clip on Thursday morning on some news channels challenged the authenticity of one aired on February 10.