Reporters Without Orders Ep 133: Baghjan blowout, Umar Khalid, and Sudarshan TV

A reporters’ podcast about what made news and what shouldn’t have.

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In this episode, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Newslaundry’s Supriti David and Ayush Tiwari.

The conversation hits off with the most bizarre news story: Sudarshan TV’s show on ‘UPSC Jihad.’ Last month, the Delhi High Court had put a stay order on the hate-mongering channel after the notorious #UPSC_Jihad promo caused an outrage on social media. In his show, the channel’s editor-in-chief, Suresh Chavanke tried to convince his audience that Indian Muslims have launched a ‘jihad’ on the coveted civil services examinations. Ayush talks about his report on the matter and contrasts the Supreme Court’s reaction to the show with that from the I&B Ministry.

The discussion then moves on to Supriti’s report on the Baghjan oil well blowout in Assam. Supriti relates her experience of visiting the site, and how just a few minutes of exposure to “the roaring noise of the flame” and the smell of gas left her feeling nauseous. Imagine what the people who live there are going through, she says. She talks about the long-term ecological repercussions of the disaster and the response from Oil India Limited. She goes on to elaborate on the plight of villagers displaced by the fire who currently reside in relief camps. “Four months in a relief camp is a long time.” The people there want closure, acknowledgement of their suffering, and a concrete plan to ensure their rehabilitation,” says Supriti.

Snigdha moves on to discuss Ayush’s report on Umar Khalid’s arrest and his interview of the arrested human rights activist, not long before he was arrested. “He was mentally prepared that he will be arrested,” says Ayush. He also points out the glaring loopholes in the Delhi Riots investigations.

All this and a lot more as they talk about what made news this week, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have. Tune in!

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Produced and recorded by Parikshit Sanyal and Lipi Vats, and edited by Harshula Sharma

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