Zee News producer quits: Video we shot had no Pakistan Zindabad slogan

The Indian Express had reported on Saturday that police had asked Zee News for the original camera and memory chip of its telecast of the February 9 event.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Updated: February 22, 2016 3:42 pm
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A PRODUCER with Zee News has resigned from the TV channel after expressing reservations over its “biased coverage” of the JNU protests and the sedition charge against the university’s students union leader.

Vishwa Deepak, an output producer, was part of the team that produced a Zee News show on the night of February 9, when alleged anti-India slogans were raised in the JNU campus during a protest against Parliament convict Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Footage telecast on Zee News formed the basis of the Delhi police’s suo motu FIR on the incident following which JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested.

In a letter to Zee News on Sunday, Deepak stated that the channel had broadcast a video of students raising slogans with a caption that said ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. “The video which had no “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans in it, we played repeatedly to spread madness. How did we establish that Kanhaiya and his associates were chanting slogans when all we heard were voices coming from the darkness. Our biases made us hear Bhartiya Court Zindabad as Pakistan Zindabad,” stated his letter.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Deepak said Zee News aired footage of students chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ repeatedly, but it did not have any such slogans in it. “We heard inaudible slogans from the grainy video. Editors at Zee News felt this sounded like ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and that’s the caption we went with,” he said.

Deepak said he scripted shows and edited footage at Zee News. He added that he had worked on the footage of the Afzal Guru event recorded on February 9 in JNU where reporter Pawan Nara was present, recording the event.

Deepak said he received the footage on February 10 and was told to work on it for a show that day.

“On February 10, I was on the morning shift, which comprised a shift head, two second shift heads, three or four producers of which I was one, two or three package producers, and two or three video editors,” said Deepak.

“At the editorial meet that afternoon, a producer was given the video footage and told to work on it because it was a ‘big story’. The producer brought the video to me and I watched it and heard it. The video was grainy and there was a lot of sloganeering but most of which was not clearly audible. I heard ‘Bhartiya Court Zindabad’,” he said.

According to Deepak, the producer showed the video to other “responsible” colleagues but none were able to clearly make out the words being chanted.

“Then our editors came down to our section and told us it was a big story, it had to go on air and that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ could be heard. So we all agreed because the editors and other colleagues felt it was ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ that was being chanted. We began to produce the show and because the audio was not clear, we added a bubble or blurb with ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ written in it to guide our viewers on what we felt was being chanted,” said Deepak.

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi, Deepak said he worked first as a freelancer contributing to Jansatta and Sanskar. He also worked with news channels News 24, AajTak, News Nation and joined Zee News as a producer in 2014. Deepak has also contributed to BBC Hindi.

When contacted, Zee News Editor Sudhir Chowdhary said Deepak’s resignation was an internal matter of the organisation. “Zee media is one of the largest media houses in the country. People leaving and recruitments being done is a normal affair. In any case, the person concerned was not involved in any stories related to the JNU row. He never discussed any issues with anybody in the organisation if he had any. His resignation is an internal matter of the organisation,” said Chowdhary in a text message.

Chowdhary did not respond to questions about Deepak’s claims of how the caption ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ was added to the footage.

The Indian Express had reported on Saturday that police had asked Zee News for the original camera and memory chip of its telecast of the February 9 event. The request had come just days after questions were raised over the authenticity of another video that was broadcast on other TV news channels and went viral on social media.

The Zee News footage also found mention in an Aam Aadmi Party complaint to Special Commissioner of Police (law and order) Deepak Mishra. The AAP had alleged that students raising slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ were from the ABVP.

JNU ABVP president Alok Singh had earlier said that some ABVP members were present at JNU on February 9, but were shouting slogans like ‘Bharatiya Court Zindabad’ and ‘Indian Army Zindabad’. The ABVP also filed a counter complaint with police saying that the footage had been tampered with.

Last week, Chowdhary had said that he stood by the footage aired on Zee News. “The slogans are very clear for anybody to hear. We stand by the footage that was aired on Zee News. We have handed over all the raw footage to the Delhi police,” he had said.

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    anonymous
    Feb 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm
    Cut and paste is not new. Modi visited Chennai floods, brought Singapore to Gujarat slums and what not...
    Reply
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      Amrut
      Feb 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm
      Shame on Indian express , you should not called Indian, you are purely with enemy of India and purely revenge ,shame on reporter and your media house, we are proudly can say that we have zee news and reporter like sudhir chaudhery
      Reply
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        Anil
        Feb 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm
        Yellow journalism at its best. are you out of your sense? How many proofs you need? The posters. invitation card, speech by gilani all of that was fake? shame on you Indian express. Consider changing your name to pak express or NTIndiaexpress.
        Reply
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          bonku
          Feb 22, 2016 at 10:05 pm
          Only s act that way.... Charging one of the most damaging charge without bothering to verify the only 'proof' the Delhi Police had is itself goes beyond negligence or incompetence but should be a criminal act. Concerned police officials and its political master, if involved, should be prosecuted.
          Reply
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            Akshay
            Feb 23, 2016 at 5:15 pm
            I think zee news have given'NEWS' I think Indian Express is not giving news It is giving OPINION So it should be named as THE OPINION EXPRESS
            Reply
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              Akshay
              Feb 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm
              How you become reporter huhhh You cannot judge a simple video even school going kids can tell the truth......
              Reply
              1. S
                Saurabh
                Feb 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm
                Very dumb comment. What else can be expected from you...
                Reply
                1. S
                  Saurabh
                  Feb 22, 2016 at 9:36 am
                  Chaddi gang is now exposed..it's better now Bhakts should remain silent now
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Saurabh
                    Feb 22, 2016 at 9:33 am
                    What has China issue do with this issue... Why Bhakts always try to divert attention by illogical comments..
                    Reply
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                      confusedAAPian
                      Feb 22, 2016 at 4:45 pm
                      Quitting for an other reason but saying this to get famous.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rahul
                        Feb 22, 2016 at 5:18 pm
                        IE has lost its mind,soul and integrity..has autioned its journalism ethics..such disgrace !! ,history will never forgive these traitors in media.
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                          Abhijit Bhattacharya
                          Feb 22, 2016 at 10:40 am
                          Do you know that the father of the nation was killed by a sanghi and RSS never took part in freedom sturggle
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Abhijit Bhattacharya
                            Feb 22, 2016 at 10:29 am
                            RSS and RSSutes are the real traitors of this country
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Abhijit Bhattacharya
                              Feb 22, 2016 at 10:27 am
                              The Zee TV owners and their collaborators in the govt must be put in Tihar jail
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Abhijit Bhattacharya
                                Feb 22, 2016 at 10:41 am
                                They have their own logic, like every has his own
                                Reply
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                                  acn
                                  Feb 23, 2016 at 8:20 pm
                                  A journalist was jailed overnight ,because he raised questions against coal allocation to a powerful Congress MP. No one questioned that ,where was ur so called Intolerance gone at that time. Now these IDOITS are protesting for a Antinational person. who is supporting stani agenda on Indian soil using the indian governments money And doing Phd is use less subjects which the have not ped frm 7 years. Y r we wasting money on such IDOTS
                                  Reply
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                                    acn
                                    Feb 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm
                                    I will never open this website or buy any indian express again . Keep supporting these self proclaimed intellectuals No intellectual is going to read your Garbage. Happy selling Paid media
                                    Reply
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                                      acn
                                      Feb 23, 2016 at 7:29 pm
                                      zee news has always been Non-biased and a responsible media house. Pure journalism what it is called. It does not shows fake News like you
                                      Reply
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                                        Afzal Ahmad
                                        Feb 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm
                                        The entire episode needs a thorough investigation by a team of literate experts who have broad and impartial mind without any prejudice. It appears a very deep rooted conspiracy hatched by the government through their officials and media, not only to malign the image of JNU, its staff and students but also to cast serious allegations over their patriotism or anti-national activities. The resignation of Mr. Vishwa Deepak, a Zee news producer who originally shot the film at JNU after disclosing that the video I shot in JNU in the alleged meeting has been doctored and some anti-national stuff was added before it was repeatedly telecast to target some individual or community or insution, is a matter of very grave concern. This doctoring of video was confirmed yesterday night on India Today TV channel by forensic experts who clearly showed a single line of original recording and then an extra audio line of superimposition over the original to change the speech with the same image. Mr. Vishwa Deepak disclosed that the film he shot in at JNU didn’t have the Pak slogan. Still, while our Home Minister hurriedly concluded and issued the statement that the nefarious Hafiz Saeed is the master mind in all these anti-national activities, our Prime Minister is maintaining a deafening silence surping even Mr. Manmohan Singh who used to be mocked by our current PM for his silence. The entire episode is much more serious and harmful for our country and citizens than the people and government are taking. It second time that our Home Minister has seriously flawed in his statement after Pathankot and the Prime Minister as usual, his silence. It should not be seen with communal goggles or political gles and should be inquired by some agency or persons having totally broad and neutral mind and guilty should be given exemplary punishment to deter others before it becomes too late.
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                                          Mohit Agarwal
                                          Feb 22, 2016 at 5:11 am
                                          Deepak must be paid for this. after reading this story, I watched and listened the video footage, its very clear that some one is chanting stan Zindabad and mob following it. So without looking at the video, its unfair to say, that the Zee news footage is mis-guiding. Check it yourself and then comment.
                                          Reply
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                                            Mohit Agarwal
                                            Feb 22, 2016 at 5:12 am
                                            corrections - - *Deepak must have been paid for this.
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