Meer Faisal and Sana Akbar
A Muslim student in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad has alleged that Times Now Nav Bharat channel falsely portrayed him as a shooter and accused him of being involved in the Umesh Pal murder case. He claims that his photos and visuals were aired during prime time on TV. Following numerous emails and legal notice, the channel took down the video, but did not issue any clarifications.
On the 23rd of March, during its prime time show “News ka Pathshala,” Times Now Nav Bharat, hosted by anchor Sushant Sinha, aired a video featuring a young boy, who they claimed to be Shooter Arman, allegedly involved in the Umesh Pal murder and carrying a bounty of 5 lakhs on his head. In the video, the channel showed Arman with Shaista Parveen, the wife of Atiq Ahmad. However, a Muslim student, Aakif Hammad, said to Maktoob that the person highlighted in the video was not Shooter Arman, but him.
Aakif claimed that the channel had wrongly identified him as the shooter, and he has nothing to do with the case. According to Aakif, the video shown by the channel was an election campaign video of Shaista Parveen, who was given a ticket by BSP for the Mayor’s election. Shaista had come to Aakif’s locality for the election campaign, and he was there like many others, as it was a normal thing to do. Aakif clarified that he is just a third-year B.A. student and an artist who performs in live shows, and he has no connection with any of it.
Aakif further stated that many people follow Nav Bharat, and one of his friends called him to inform him that the channel was showing him as the shooter involved in the Umesh Pal murder. He received many more calls from people stating the same thing, and his image has been tarnished as a result. Aakif said that his family is worried, and he is depressed. The video has caused all of his shows to get cancelled, which were lined up, and he feels his life is at risk, so he has stopped going out.
Aakif claimed that he sent multiple emails to the channel, stating that the video was misleading. He also called their officers and grievance department, but they did not do anything. After several calls and a large number of views on the video, the channel finally removed it from YouTube. “However, it was too little too late, and all the damage has already been done. The channel has yet to issue any clarification regarding the video,” he said.
Aakif stated that all he wants from the channel is a clarification stating that they made a mistake and that the person shown in the video is not Shooter Arman.
In similar stories, News Nation and Aaj Tak designated a different individual as the shooter Arman. Maktoob has seen the emails sent by Aakif, and the video has already been removed from YouTube by the time of writing this story.