A video clip of a man threatening a reporter of Times of Today, a digital news portal, is being widely shared on social media. Facebook user Sabnam Khatoon shared the video clip with a caption: “BJP walon ki news reporter se ‘gunda gardi’ dekhiye".
Another user KM Ananthakeerthi posted the video clip, claiming “BJP party leader threatening journalist in Uthar Pradesh”.
In the video, the man is seen asking the reporter: “From your question, I feel that you don’t fear for your family, do you? You don’t understand in whose rule and against whom are you asking this question. I will tell you, you may have forgotten. You are not living in the old India. You are living in changing India. Here Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister. The state in which you are asking the question. The very state whose Chief Minister is called Yogi Adityanath. Please think about your family. Stop shooting questions against the government and Bharatiya Janata Party. Otherwise Pankaj [the reporter], you will be found lying near a corner of some bank like a brother of Gauri Lankesh. Else, there was one journalist in Mirzapur, who did an accurate report about students from poor economic background being fed with Salt and roti. He was sent to jail. Be a brother of Anjana Om Kashyap. I am giving you an advice, the people who ask question against the government are being killed. I feel sorry for you. It’s okay, your emotions are good that you want to question in favour of the general public. My good wishes are with you. But in this country, the one who questions are getting murdered. They are being put to death.”
After going through several video clips related to it, News Nation found the full interview posted on the YouTube channel of Times of Today on November 16, 2019. In the full video, the reporter can be seen introducing the man as Harish Mishra, former district president of Seva Dal, a grassroots frontal organisation of the Congress.
The reporter asks Mishra: “Farmers are continuously committing suicide. What is the BJP government thinking about the farmers?”
Mishra replies in sarcasm: Pankajji, I’ll surely respond to your question on the farmers [suicide] but from your question I feel that you don’t fear for your family, do you? You don’t understand in whose rule and against whom are you asking this question. I will tell you, you may have forgotten. [continues………] then you said what about farmers.”
News Nation concluded that Mishra is not a BJP member, as claimed by many social media users, and that he was threatening the reporter is false.