BBC’s report on Delhi Police role in riots irks Prasar Bharati

New Delhi: Angered over British broadcaster’s coverage of the Delhi riots, Chief executive officer of Prasar Bharti Shashi Shekhar Vempati has declined an invitation to attend an event hosted by the BBC. He was invited for the BBC’s Indian sportswoman award ceremony due to be held in New Delhi on March 8.

Vempati shot a letter to the director general of the BBC and pointed out to a report by journalist Yogita Limaye which investigates the role of the Delhi police in the riots.

The police can be seen indulging in stone pelting along with a mob.

The report entitled ‘Delhi Police complicity in Delhi riots’ was released on March 2, 2020 based on video evidence and eye witness account. The video shows the role played by the police in aiding and abetting the violence. The police can be seen indulging in stone pelting along with a mob. In another scene policemen can be seen beating 23-year-old Faizan black and blue. He died later allegedly after police denied medical care.

In another scene policemen can be seen beating 23-year-old Faizan black and blue.

Though the BBC’s report is based on video evidence and accounts of eye witnesses, the Prasar Bharti, has alleged that the reporting is “one-sided” and has “contributed to further vitiating the atmosphere while insinuating the brave men and women in uniform who are charged with the onerous responsibility of maintaining law and order”.

Saying that the BBC ought to have “mentioned the murderous assault on the men in uniform by a mob which resulted in the death of a head constable while in the line of duty and also resulted in the fatal injuries received by a deputy commissioner of police in uniform”, Vempati further argues that the BBC report should have mentioned the assault on intelligence bureau official Ankit Sharma which led to his death.

As reported by The Wire, Vempati stated in the letter, “I strongly believe that as public broadcasters, BBC and Prasar Bharti must respect the sovereignty of the nations we primarily serve even as we collaborate beyond borders on multilateral for the greater global good. I hope the BBC would review its editorial views on reports of this nature in line with this spirit.”

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