The inquiry committee of Uttar Pradesh Assembly investigating a sting operation on Muzaffarnagar riots, broadcast on Aaj Tak and Headlines Today channels, tabled its report in the Assembly on Tuesday, holding several staff members of TV Today Network guilty for breach of privilege of minister Azam Khan.
In its report, the committee recommended action against these staff members under various Sections of IPC and IT Act. It also recommended action against police and administration officials for their alleged conduct before the sting operation team.
Rahul Kanwal, the then managing editor of Headlines Today (now renamed India Today TV) and managing editor of the TV Today network now, said, “I will not comment on this. Talk to our legal team.”
Formed by UP Assembly on September 24, 2013, the seven-member committee headed by SP MLA Satish Kumar Nigam was probing the authenticity of a sting operation related to Muzaffarnagar riots, purportedly blaming Azam Khan.
The contentious programmes — ‘Operation Danga and Operation Riot for Vote’ — were telecast on Aaj Tak and Headlines Today, respectively, on September 17, 2013. Aaj Tak broadcast Operation Danga Part-2 the following day, the report stated.
The 350-page report has made seven recommendations. The panel authorised the Assembly to take a decision on punishment of the staff, if found guilty. The journalists are managing editor of Aaj Tak Supriya Prasad, output head Manish Kumar, editor SIT Deepak Sharma, reporters Arun Singh and Harish Sharma, then managing editor of Headlines Today Rahul Kanwal, and anchors Punya Prasun Bajpai, Gaurav Sawant and Padmaja Joshi.