ANI interviewed its own employee in a story about demonetisation

ByNL Team
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Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, the entire country has been queuing up in front of banks, ATMs and post offices to exchange old notes for new. The queues have been long and never-ending, and for some, the government’s decision has proved to be fatal; according to reports, at least 11 people have died. Worryingly, the number could be as high as 25.

Amid all the chaos and bleakness, news agency ANI reported a feel-good story on November 13, about a resourceful tea stall owner in Delhi’s RK Puram area who was accepting online payments from customers.

As part of the story, ANI spoke with one of the ‘customers’ at the tea stall, a man named Shashank, who lauded the owner’s “great gesture”. However, it was soon pointed out on Twitter that Shashank wasn’t just another regular customer, but actually an ANI employee. His Facebook page confirmed that he works as a ‘News Updater’ at ANI.

ANI has since removed the tweet with Shashank’s comments and the video story on the ANI website doesn’t feature him either. The agency also tweeted out an apology for the “error”, although it didn’t specify what the error was.

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