Corona Crisis: Prannoy Roy’s NDTV, Raghav Bahl’s Quint website and Anil Ambani’s IANS news agency caught peddling Fake News, creating panic

Some (the usual suspects?) in the MSM are back to doing what they do best - peddling lies about Corona virus

Some in the MSM are back to doing what they do best - peddling lies about Corona virus
Some in the MSM are back to doing what they do best - peddling lies about Corona virus

Prannoy Roy-led NDTV, Raghav Bahl owned Quint website and Anil Ambani controlled IANS news agency are caught peddling fake news and creating panic when the World is facing a Corona pandemic crisis.  A few days ago, NDTV the television channel and its website flashed news citing John Hopkins University that India expected to see 40 crore COVID-19 cases in three months. This fake news was first generated in the debt-ridden industrialist Anil Ambani-controlled website IANS. Later John Hopkins University rebutted the news item.

Times of India’s Fact Check Division also exposed this fake news peddled by IANS and NDTV, misquoting John Hopkins University. The report says that the so-called research report was just a fraud by misusing the University’s Logo[1].

Mr. Prannoy Roy, are you apologising? You have proved to be an out-and-out liar. When the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Income Tax Department (IT) caught you, you had no shame in lying at a function arranged by the pro-Left and Congress journos in Press Club, of never touching Black Money your whole life. The joke is on you, Mr. Roy – you are now an accused by the CBI in cases for bank frauds and money laundering and not allowed to fly abroad along with your business partner wife[2].

PGurus has already reported an article on the IANS website behind many fake stories and fake surveys during elections, which later turned to be a typical Cock and Bull Story[3].

Later on, IANS editor Sandeep Bamzai, claimed in his tweet that NDTV and Alt News were wrongly blaming them.

The very latest in fake news is from Quint, owned by Raghav Bahl, who is already facing tax violation and money laundering cases charges by the IT and the Enforcement Directorate (ED)[4]. PGurus also reported how Bahl manipulated shares in the market to effect a fake sale in connection with this controversial website Quint[5].

On Friday (March 27) Quint’s reporter Poonam Agarwal flashed a report that India has entered Stage 3 of COVID-19, misquoting an Engineer Dr. Giridhar Gyani, who is the Director-General of a trade body called Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI). A shocked Gyani soon came out with a statement that the Quint website misquoted him. But still, Poonam was insisting in her tweets that Gyani is a qualified Doctor, while he is basically an Electrical Engineer having a Doctorate in Quality Control.

Poonam Agarwal fake news tweet
Poonam Agarwal fake news tweet

The previous week, Barkha Dutt came out with an interview with Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan. His Doctorate is in Economics and he claims that 30 crore people of India must be tested for Coronavirus and soon one or two crore people will be affected. This Economist has a dubious past and goes on to say that by July, India will face one million to two million deaths by July. After Barkha Dutt’s interview, CNN-IBN’s Marya Shakil and India Today’s Rahul Kanwal also celebrated the conspiracy and fake theories of this dubious person. No one bothered to check his credentials – that this person is not a Medical Doctor and only a Doctorate in Economics. Now it is found that this person is Director of two health supply companies in Delhi.

There is another health reporter Vidya Krishnan, an activist and a journalist that covers the Health sector also caught peddling lies[6]. Krishnan worked in foreign NGOs too in India. This is not his first wrong report – there are precedents.

Why are some in the media peddling such fake stories to create panic during the Corona crisis? MSM should bear in mind that all these fake reports invite offences under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act 2005. As per this Section, creating false warning, panic will lead to a punishment of one year in jail and a heavy penalty. Will Government initiate Sec 54 against these fake news peddlers?

References:

[1] FAKE ALERT: Media reports claim 40 crore Indians will contact Coronavirus, falsely attribute it to John Hopkins UniversityMar 28, 2020, The Times of India

[2] NDTV founders detained at city airport: Roys say fake caseAug 9, 2019, Economic Times

[3] Did Anil Ambani’s news agency IANS illegally publish Lok Sabha election survey? Why is the Election Commission not taking action? May 14, 2019, PGurus.com

[4] Enforcement Directorate charges media baron Raghav Bahl for money launderingJun 7, 2019, PGurus.com

[5] Raghav Bahl engaged in dubious sale of his The Quint website to his own newly acquired firm Gaurav Mercantiles. A case of Money Laundering? Jul 3, 2019, PGurus.com

[6] The Callousness of India’s COVID-19 ResponseMar 27, 2020, The Atlantic

Team PGurus

11 COMMENTS

  1. If you read Soutik Biswas’s article in the BBC entitled “Coronavirus: why is India testing so little”? dated March 20, 2020, you will see an interview from Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan there. No claims were made in that interview that 30 crore people need to be tested, nor does he say anytime that “India will face 1-2 million deaths by July”. I dont know Ramanan personally so I am a disinterested person here, but all he is doing in that interview is to point out from his modeling that India should be prepared for the tsunami of cases that will probably arise over the next 2-3 weeks. His job is to bring out the facts, and that is all he is doing. Why vilify him about a “dubious past” that is not proven? How can Pgurus publish such atrociously researched material. How are you any different from NDTV fake news?

    • Sir, how can an economist talk on corona statistics ? This is what P gurus team is questioning . And how Can Ramanans model become fact, at best it can be virtual model. Why to publicise it and create panic ? All economic growth models of countries by doctorates have gone bust by corona.My common sense says Arab nations will become bankrupt due to oil bust and all their toilet cleaners, nurses , ward boys and coffin makers have fled to Kerala. They are finished, that is my model.Maximum corona carriers to India are from Saudi, a fact hidden by journalists. First death in Hyderabad and Pak are from visitor to Mecca in 1st March, a fact.

      Only a negative person, with dubious past can create models to criticise his own government. If he has any realistic solution, let him write a blog and why to give interview to the most dubious journalist in India .

    • You said you don’t know Dr. Ramanan personally but you are very sure about his clean past. Whom you are trying to fool? Dr. Ramanan didn’t even publish the assumptions he has made for his forecast of millions of Indians’ deaths. Had he validated his model with actual cases on ground in any country i.e. China, Italy, USA, Iran etc? No he didn’t. What objectives Dr. Ramanan has other than creating panic in India? Only a crook can shamelessly defend another crook.

  2. I have unsubscribed to NDTV long time back and not wathcing this fraud TV.
    Government should act strict and shut such channels, websites, news agencies but they are not.
    First, they are to be shut, then legal cases can go on and on in the court.

  3. These are vultures in human form. Any news against a nation which gave them food, shelter and identity are being glorified. These are same people ,even glorify if their family members are assaulted.

    Learn from China, they too glorify their nation by covering up mistakes thru fake news. No doubt India is land where most foxes take rebirth as humans.

  4. Art of Writing scare creating articles was started when Article 370 & 35-A was abolished through Parliament Process. Over 30-40 Authors sprang from J&K & similar 30-40 Authors sprang from Pan-India writing scare creating Articles telling People about increasing terror activities,increase in number of terrorists,people revolt,bloodshed not only in J&K but also at other part of India etc. These Articles cropped up in The Wire,HuffPost,The Print,FirstPost & recirculated the same articles in Yahoo ,Rediff etc. Some articles appeared in Prominent Pan-India dailies. It is conspiracy to create scare in India & to draw attention at International attention on J&K issue but nothing happen,their objective failed & Articles stopped. There scope extended to disconnection of Internet communication/Telephone in J&K,removal of Statehood. There latest scope of article is on CAA/NRC,Shaheen Bhag & Delhi Riot,Police in-action,death of Minority during riot. Latest scare creating subject is Corona Virus Crisis-Theme of Articles: Late action,un-preparedness of Govt,non-availability of testing facility,non-availability of Apron,Masks to Doctors across India,21 days lock-down,in-sufficient economic aid,spreading of virus over crores of people. Their intention is to create scare,creating Public Opinion against BJP Govt & against Modi in Person There Article headline start with Modi name in most of articles. Such a hate campaign in Social Media/some TV Channels/Some Press.

  5. Very true. Now anti-national traitors are busy in spreading rumors and hate. Migration of Poor people, implementation of lock down, economy etc are their favorite topic to spread rumors and panic. NGOs, Communists, Shaheen Bagh fringe groups and Jihadist agenda to ruin nation.

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