रविवार, 23 नवंबर 2008

Media fails to report Batla encounter reality

Afroz Alam'Sahil'
THE MORNING of September 19, waslike any ordinary day, working people had gone to their offices, students had gone to their schools or colleges and those who had stayed back were preparing to take part in Friday ‘namaaz’. But suddenly with the sound of bullets our phones also began ringing incessantly. Where are you? There is a shootout going on at Batla House. There are terrorists in your area and an uproar in the media world. (In this hue and cry everybody said what they wanted to. I don’t think it is necessary to repeat those statements.) This hue and cry continued for the next two days. After which there was some respite. But it awakened the public. Infact, this commotion awakened a community so much that they lost all faith in the electronic media but the print media succeeded in saving its skin.
But here, the media seemed to be divided into two factions. One faction believed the encounter to be Delhi Police’s biggest success while the other was deeming this success as a fallacy. Some people of this faction even refused to call it an encounter. They say that it will be better to call it a murder. I thought this encounter to be a big success of the Delhi Police as every citizen of this country was getting fed up of terrorism and bomb blasts. A section of the media who were calling it a farce had no concrete proof. News was written only on the basis of hear-say. The reality remained a mystery as a very large group was not ready to congratulate the Delhi Police for this success. Plus, the media also had to capture this segment of the government’s vote bank as their customers.
Even I was getting weary of listening and hearing different opinions. But being a mass communication student, even I have some responsibilities. I have full faith in the country’s laws. I used the Right to Information Act and sought some information from institutions like AIIMS, NHRC, Delhi Police and the Supreme Court. I hoped some truth would come out from their answers as the Delhi Police had hidden vital information. And here my work was appreciated by the Hindustan Times and a few more newspapers also reported about my RTI application.
Apart from the AIIMS and NHRC, the other two departments did not care to reply to my application. And the AIIMS also refused to give any information. While the RTI Act was being violated, on the other hand it was obvious that something was definitely wrong.

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