Farmers protesting against the three controversial farm bills started a 'Kisan Sansad' on Thursday, July 22, at Jantar Mantar, Delhi as a symbol of the continuation of their ongoing protest. Interestingly, this was taking place at the same when the Parliament was conducting the Monsoon session.
With an aim to show the central government that the farmers had the idea of running the Parliament, this 'Sansad' was organised and was conducted under the strict surveillance of the Delhi Police.
One of the episodes of the Hindi news channel News18 India's show 'Aar Paar', hosted by the channel's Managing Editor Amish Devgan, was aired on the same day with the claim that a cameraman was attacked while reporting about the protest on the ground.
The show was aired with title, 'विरोध का नाम, अराजक काम? Democracy में ये कैसी मनमानी?'( 'Name of protest, chaotic work? What is this arbitrariness in Democracy?' )
"This is a picture of News 18's video journalist/cameraperson Nagendra Gosain. He went to cover the farmer protest at Jantar Mantar, but then he was attacked. There, a man was hurling abuses at the media and girls. When Nagendra opposed it, he was struck on the head by a stick. He tried to shield himself with his hands, which gets injured. Nagendra was rushed to the hospital for treatment," Devgan can be heard as saying.
All through the 47-minute-long show, Devgan kept on repeating that the farmers incited the attack and questioned their intentions.
"Attacking any media person or a News18 video journalist is no way to protest," he added.
Sharing a picture of the injured cameraman, Devgan tweeted, "न्यूज़ 18 के कैमरा मैंन नागेन्द्र पर हमला" ("News18's cameraman Nagendra attacked).
Amit Malviya, head of the BJP's IT department, shared the same footage on Twitter with the caption condemning the attack and accusing the farmers of wreaking havoc in the national capital.
"News18's cameraman Nagendra beaten up at farmer protest... There is little doubt that this protest is not what it portrays to be. Targeting media, vandalising the Red Fort, holding the capital to ransom, blocking borders at a time when sowing and harvesting seasons are at peak?"
Few social media users who have been accused of sharing misleading information in the past also shared the post and amplified the narrative.
These users include Rishi Bagree, Atul Ahuja, and @ExSecular, they captioned that farmers attacked media persons and thrashed them during the protest. Further, OpIndia claimed that a female protester had attacked a News18 cameraperson.
Farmers attacked a News18 cameraperson during the protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
We sought reports from other media outlets to assess how this incident was reported.
According to an India TV report dated 22 July, the news story read— "The cameraperson of a leading Hindi news channel was injured after he was allegedly attacked by a freelance journalist."
The report quoted Nagendra Gosain saying that a man, identified as Prabhjot Singh, was abusing a female journalist while recording her. The moment she protested, he attacked her.
We found the footage posted on the Facebook page— Pyara Hindustan. In the nine-minute-long clip, hitting the cameraman and people breaking into a scuffle can be seen from 1:55, after which Nagendra Gosain gets injured.
A female correspondent from the channel (Pyara Hindustan) was reporting on the farmers' protest; at the same time, the camera pans towards another freelance journalist who was captured filming this correspondent through his mobile camera.
She can be seen approaching the man and asking, "What did you just call me?" to which the man replied, "Shameless", and continues recording.
Soon after, the two get into a fierce argument. A few bystanders notice the incident and snatch Prabhjot Singh's mobile phone and stomp on it after it falls on the ground. The News18 cameraperson, Gosain, can be spotted at this point breaking in.
We found another footage posted on the Facebook page, 'Ambedkar Mission News Channel', which recorded the entire incident from a different angle. This nine-minute-long clip clearly showed that Gosain was injured.
Later, Prabhjot Singh can be seen picking up his mobile phone from the ground and swinging his tripod a few times injuring Gosain. A few seconds later, in the video, several people can be rushing towards the cameraperson.
From the above-linked videos, it is evident that News18 wrongly portrayed a fight between two journalists as an 'attack' on media person and News18 cameraman by the farmers during the protest.
Alt News contacted News18 cameraman Nagendra Gosain. He said, "He was not a farmer but a supporter of farmers. He was taking a video recording of media personnel and hurling abuses at them. And he also verbally attacked a woman. When we tried to stop him, he attacked me with a light stand. When I tried to shield myself using my hands, the stand unfolded and fell on my hand. And that's how I was injured. He had a United Kisan Morcha ID card around his neck."
Alt News also reached out to the freelance journalist, Prabhjot Singh. He said, "Godi media was spreading misinformation about farmers. That's why I went live on social media and called them shameless. This enraged bystanders and they dropped my phone. I was only doing a Livestream. They tried to break my phone. In response, I also hit back with the tripod to get my phone back. The cameraperson got hurt in all of this. Afterwards, the police held me for nine hours for questioning. I was eventually released."
Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Yadav confirmed that the fight was between two journalists carrying recording equipment. The DCP informed that no complaint had been filed in this matter.
Fact-checking website Alt News debunked the claim earlier.
If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at email@example.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.